After a few Thursday night and Friday morning snow showers, we are finally going to dry things out for the next several days. Friday should see partial clearing with cool temperatures in the mid-30s, with little change over the weekend. Temperatures begin to rise early next week (into the 40s Monday and Tuesday and the 50s Wednesday) ahead of another series of storms which could add to our already historic January precipitation totals.
One of the big concerns that I heard prior to the big rains last week was that it was going to wash out and melt he snow that had already fallen, worsening the flood situation. Actually, it was just the opposite. If you have an already healthy snowpack, it has the ability to absorb a lot of rainwater, holding it out of the creeks and rivers. And contrary to common belief, rain is not a particularly good melter of snow (a warm wind is much more effective.) Proof of that comes by looking at the snow water equivalent (SWE) figures before and after the big rain. Prior to the rain, our snowpack sat at about 130% of average. As of early Thursday morning, we are up to about 200% of average, much of the gain thanks to the rain staying in the snow.