Rain Unusual but Provides Little Relief
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An uncommon summer rain system has moved across the Sierra into Nevada. Light rain began in western Nevada Sunday, bringing short-lived relief to a drought-ridden region.
Gary Barbato is a hydrologist for the National Weather Service. He says this week's precipitation is unusual for the season and similar to a winter storm.
"We typically get stuff as late as Memorial Day, maybe even the first part of June. But once we get into the latter part of June, it's almost unheard of, so this kind of weather is really rare, but we're going to go right back into normal by the end of the week, so enjoy it while we have it."
Barbato says after this storm, the region will dry out in the next few days and temperatures will spike. As of last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated all Nevada counties and all California counties bordering Nevada as natural drought disaster areas, so this week's precipitation won't provide lasting relief.
"Really, we don't expect there to be any change until at least November. I mean, October we can start getting storms, even September if it's a good year."
The National Weather Service reports that last fall was relatively moist, but for much of the region, the period of January to May this year was the driest on record. Continuous drought conditions have increased fire danger across the region and many ranchers are struggling to provide their cattle with water.