Rain, hail pelt North Coast
Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 9:02 p.m.
Lightning strikes, thunder and hail hit the North Coast Sunday.
Yet despite all the bluster, muggy weekend storms delivered not even an inch of rain to Santa Rosa and even less in other areas of Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties.
"These storm systems were pretty small," National Weather Service meteorologist Austin Cross said.
The storms swept across the Pacific Ocean and as of 4 p.m. Sunday, dropped 0.92 inches of rain in Santa Rosa, 0.81 in Windsor and 0.29 in Guerneville.
A tree crashed to the ground across North Fitch Mountain Road outside Healdsburg, where 0.42 inches fell.
Mendocino County received 0.11 inches of rain in Ukiah and 0.42 in Fort Bragg.
In Lake County, 0.42 inches fell in Middletown and 0.16 in Lakeport.
"It has been a very dry start to the year, even with this rain," Cross said.
Since Jan. 1, rain gauges at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport have measured 2.78 inches as of midnight Saturday, a paltry sum compared with the average for that time period of 18 inches, Cross said.
Yet, the North Coast can handle dry days because heavy rainfall in December filled the region's reservoirs.
Lake Sonoma was at 97.06 percent capacity Sunday and Lake Mendocino at 75.82 percent.
Cross said the region has received about 80 percent of normal rainfall since July 1, the start of the "water year."
Rain showers were expected to continue this morning then move on, leaving behind partly cloudy skies.
The next bout of rain is forecast for Thursday.
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or julie. email@example.com.
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