October 12, 2012

Sunny weather ahead for Merced

Stepping out of the house Friday morning, Merced residents were greeted by the first rain of the season. Some say it was long anticipated, while others already are missing the summer heat.

"A low-pressure system is moving eastward from over the Pacific Ocean," said Jim Andersen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. "Merced is getting some showers because of some of the moisture that's wrapping up and around the low-pressure area."

But for those worried about how Friday's rain might affect their weekend plans, there is nothing to worry about.

"We're expecting it to move Friday afternoon, or early evening, then we should start to see some drier conditions set in," said Andersen.

He predicted today will be mostly sunny with a few high clouds and a high around 78 degrees. Tonight will be clear with a low of 55 degrees, while Sunday will sunny and 84.

"After this, we should not see any precipitation for a while," Anderson reported.

Next week is expected to be warmer, reaching the upper 80s by Wednesday.

The California Highway Patrol said Friday's wet conditions did not result in any weather-related accidents.

To stay safe on the slick roadways during the first rains of the season, CHP public information officer John Patterson said it's important to watch your speed and ensure that your car's brakes, tires, windshield wipers and headlights are in working condition.

"With every rain season, or weather change, we always want to remind drivers that the first rain of the season makes the surface very slippery," Patterson said.

Always use headlights to increase visibility when windshield wipers are on, Patterson added.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or

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