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Rainy days ahead for Sacramento

Storms could produce one-two punch, up to 2.5 inches rain

downspout splash block with a little water
This downspout splash block got just a bit of water this morning but it's likely
to be flowing during the rainstorms starting Thursday. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Turn off the sprinklers! Our record dry spell is officially over – and the first big storm of our new water year is on its way.

Wednesday’s drizzly conditions are just a warm-up. According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento can expect a wet one-two punch, starting Thursday.

“Periods of heavy to moderate rain are possible late Thursday into Friday with our next storm system,” tweeted the NWS Sacramento office on Wednesday morning. “These (showers) could bring potential ash flows and debris flows to recent burn scars. They could also bring morning commute issues. The heaviest rain is expected north of I-80.”

Sacramento Valley is expected to get 0.5 to 1.5 inches in this first wave, says the weather service. Foothill areas could get 2 to 4 inches.

Expect “ponding of water on roadways and some minor flooding of poor drainage areas,” the weather service added.

Saturday may be showery, but mostly dry. Then comes another, colder storm on Sunday with rain expected through Tuesday. That storm is expected to drop at least an inch on Sacramento and snow in the mountain passes.

That adds up to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for Sacramento. If these storms deliver as expected, Sacramento’s October rain total will easily top its historical average of 0.95 inches.

These storms follow the longest rainless period in Downtown Sacramento history – 212 days. Before Sunday night’s light rainfall, the weather service’s Downtown Sacramento monitors had not recorded any measurable precipitation since March 19.



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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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