On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the agency issued a flood watch for a region that includes Tracy, as a storm is predicted to intermittently drop rain on the Central Valley from Tuesday evening through Sunday, Dec. 2.
“Urban and small stream flooding will become likely in the valley,” the statement read.
A wind advisory stated that gusts of up to 40 mph could buffet the area through the weekend.
The highest chance for flooding and other storm damage will be during the weekend, the flood watch stated, as wind-blown debris could pile up and clog drains and culverts.
The storm could also break tree branches, cause power failures and trigger mudslides, the reports stated.
According to Ken Clark, a meteorologist with forecasting service Accuweather, the system could drop 2 to 4 inches of rain on Tracy.
“If you were just looking at one storm, it wouldn’t be a terribly big deal, but you’re looking at one storm after another,” he said Tuesday. “The first starts on Wednesday, and you’re probably going to get one every day. It’s hard to tell which one’s going to be biggest.”
Clark said the Tracy area sees an average of 1.69 inches of rain in November, and between 2 inches and 4 inches in December.
“We’re going to have a month or more of rainfall in a four- or five-day period,” Clark said.
Clark said heavy precipitation could saturate the ground and cause localized flooding.
“If you live in a flood-prone area, be cautious and know that this situation is coming up,” he said. “If you know you live in a low-lying spot or near a stream or smaller river … you should take precautions.”
Tracy has received 1.21 inches of rain since July 1, according to the Tracy Press rain gauge at the corner of A and 10th streets.
As of this time last year, less than 1 inch of rain had been recorded by the downtown gauge, and 4.61 inches fell from July 1, 2011, to June 30. The annual average rainfall in Tracy is 10.5 inches.
Clark said long-range forecasts predict a drier-than-normal winter for Central California. Early predictions of a wetter-than-usual season shifted, he said, as conditions in the Pacific Ocean changed.
“We’re in a neutral pattern, which tends to favor, more times than not, below-normal precipitation,” Clark said. “Now there are years in there that are the exception to the rule, and you never know when that will happen.”
He added that this week’s weather pattern doesn’t necessarily mean this year will be one of those exceptions.
“One series of storms does not dictate what a whole season is going to be like,” Clark said.
• Contact Jon Mendelson at 830-4231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.