Nearly a full inch of rain poured into Merced over the weekend, which caused a string of vehicle collisions but did little to relieve drought conditions.
According to the National Weather Service in Hanford, parts of Merced received anywhere from one-third to nearly a full inch of rain between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. Those showers, however, are expected to dry up by Monday morning.
“I can tell you that, although this rain has been nice, it’s not really impacted the drought at all,” meteorologist Christine Riley said Sunday. “We’re going to need a lot more consistent rainfall to even put a dent in the drought.”
Merced, so far this month, has already received nearly half the amount of rain that fell in the county during all of February 2014, but remains far behind the pace needed to bring any meaningful drought relief.
The rain appeared to have a greater impact on driving conditions over the weekend in Merced County.
Slick roads contributed to more than half a dozen non-injury vehicle collisions Sunday throughout Merced County, mostly on Highway 99 and Highway 152, according to the California Highway Patrol and area law enforcement agencies.
“It serves as a reminder when driving in rainy, wet roadway conditions to check your tires’ tread depth and windshield wipers prior to traveling,” Officer Moises Onsurez said. “Also, you should increase following distances and adjust speed as rain conditions change.”
Merced police also investigated two non-injury collisions Sunday afternoon, Sgt. Bobby Chapman said.
There was at least one other minor collision during Sunday’s brief downpour in Atwater, Lt. Samuel Joseph said.
Roadways in Merced County are expected to dry up this week, however, according to the National Weather Service. “Before most people wake up on Monday, the rains should be gone,” Riley said.
Forecasters are calling for dry conditions throughout the week, with temperatures climbing above 70 degrees beginning Wednesday.
“That warming trend should continue through the coming weekend,” Riley said.
Sun-Star staff writer Rob Parsons can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.