WEATHER WATCH: The rain dances worked! The first substantial storminess of the season arrived just in time for the busiest travel day of the year (Wednesday), Thanksgiving Day (Thursday), and the craziest shopping day (Friday). But if the rain dissipates the smoke that has caused "Very Unhealthy" air quality this week, it'll all be worth it. As this holiday storm heads east, another one is taking aim at the region, forecast to arrive Wednesday, Nov. 28, and have periods of rain for at least the next seven days.
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After the most catastrophic wildfire in California history that incinerated the town of Paradise in Butte County and claimed at least 89 lives, the skies opened up this week and dumped rain and snow up and down California. Had those rains come three weeks ago, there’s a high probability that the Camp Fire might not have occurred.
But with the rains coming in the aftermath of the terrible fires both north and south, foremost there will be a dramatic improvement in air quality throughout California. Among the negative aspects of the much-needed rains, there will be flash flooding during heavy downpours and
possible mudslides where fire has denuded the vegetation on hillsides over the past few years.
The rains also hampered efforts to comb through burned rubble to locate more victims; there are still hundreds of people unaccounted for. Nearly, every Californian has a relative or friend who has lost a home or business in the two major fires (Camp and Woolsey fires).
In Kaweah Country, the rainfall that began Wednesday night restored good air quality in the region on Thanksgiving Day. The more than one foot of snow that fell in the nearby mountains above 7,000 feet put a damper on local fires burning in remote wilderness areas of Sequoia
National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument.
The rainfall is expected to continue on and off again into early December. An unstable air mass has moved into replace the stalled high pressure that fanned downslope winds and created firestorm conditions for the past three weeks in Northern and Southern California.
Daytime high temperatures for the rest of November will be in the 60s and dip into the 30s at night. Another good soaker should descend on Three Rivers and the Sierra foothills region to bring more rain and snow on Wednesday and Thursday.