Reporting Nick Janes
KINGVALE (CBS13) – Forecasters say a winter storm moving over Northern California could produce the wettest week yet this year.
There’s a wind advisory Tuesday in the valley with gusts 40-50 mph and sustained winds at 25-35 mph. The Sacramento area is expected to get about a half-inch of rain.
There’s also a winter storm warning in the Sierra on Tuesday above 4,500 feet. Snowfall at elevations above 6,000 is expected at 1 to 3 feet.
After Tuesday, we’ll be in and out of storms through the remainder of the week with relatively high snow levels for the Sierra until the weekend.
Then snow levels drop into the foothills, and we could see some thunderstorms for the valley and the foothills starting Friday evening.
The week’s rainfall totals should be about 3 inches around Sacramento and higher in the Foothills. The Sierra should see about 5 feet of new snow.
Caltrans was out patrolling clear Sierra roads Monday morning, but that is all about to change with a big storm on the way. Snowfall totals could reach several feet at the highest elevations.
Caltrans is calling extra crews from the valley for next few days. The regular Sierra staff will be doubled to more than 80 people.
“We’ll have a total of 83 personnel per shift between state line and Auburn to help gear up for this storm,” said Darrell Taylor, Caltrans maintenance superintendent.
Even before sunrise Monday, crews were busy inside the Kingvale facility making sure their fleet of graders and snowblowers were in tip-top shape.
Most welcome new rain and snow for what has to this point been a historically dry winter, but not everyone is looking forward to it.
Third-generation farmer Tom Barrios is hoping this week’s storm is another miss. A soaker could hurt the yield on his tomato crop.
“I’m starting to look at the weather every hour it changes, but you can’t really do anything about it, just go with the flow,” he said.
It’s not all bad news for Barrios Farms Inc. Their wheat crop could use a big storm, but the tomatoes are a big moneymaker.
“The rain just causes a lot of disease,” he said. “We like to pretty much give the tomatoes water when we feel the need to give them water.”
Even though it’s still early in planting season, Barrios said they couldn’t wait any longer to get started.
“It’s pretty much up to the cannery, and we pretty much have to get our tomatoes ready by a certain day,” he said.
Fruit trees are in danger too. Arborist Mike Ritenour from Valley Crest Tree Care Services says a bad storm could cause problems for the fruit crop.
“We got a lot of them in bight right now, you got those little flowers, those little buds, the bees are pollinating,” he said. “A big storm with a little cold temperature that’s extra rainy, that’s going to knock a lot of those off, it’s going to really impact the production of fruit and nuts.”