April showers

After 3 dry months, finally some rainfall

Wet conditions predicted into next week
2013-04-01T18:40:00Z 2013-04-03T18:02:34Z After 3 dry months, finally some rainfallPETER JENSEN Napa Valley Register
April 01, 2013 6:40 pm  • 

The Napa Valley received a long-overdue soaking as rainstorms blew through Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and more rainy weather is in the forecast this week.

After three months of unusually dry weather, many low-lying areas of the valley received between a quarter-inch and a half-inch of rainfall from midday Sunday to midday Monday, according to data from the National Weather Service (NWS).

For the first three months of the year, the rainfall total at the Napa County Airport was 1.55 inches — 10 inches below normal for the period, according to the NWS.

The monthly totals were: January, 0.34 inches; February, 0.28 inches; and March, 0.93 inches, according to NWS reports.

Normal rainfall is 4.38 inches in January, 3.79 inches in February and 3.35 inches in March, according to the NWS.

More rain is in the forecast for Thursday, when the valley could get another quarter- to half-inch, NWS meteorologist Steve Anderson said Monday.

There’s a chance that the showers will continue into next week, according to the forecast.

“We’ll be in a wet weather pattern until Tuesday of next week, and then it dries out,” Anderson said.

Anderson said temperatures are unlikely to drop below freezing at night, alleviating frost concerns among local grapegrowers. Temperatures are likely to hover in the low 40s, he said.

Michael Honig, president of Honig Vineyard and Winery in Rutherford, said the recent rains posed no concerns for his grapevines, which are still dormant. He said most vineyards in Rutherford haven’t reached bud break yet.

“To date we’re not having any problems with rain,” Honig said Monday. “In Rutherford there’s nothing green right now. There’s nothing pushing out.”

Honig said rain falling a month from now would be a cause for concern for the early development of this year’s grape crop. But barring that, he said there’s no need for alarm.

“We’ll just enjoy the nice spring rain,” Honig said. “Put on your boots and go stomp around. If we had rain in a month, I might be a little more concerned. In the context of a long growing season in 2013, I think there’s absolutely nothing to be concerned about.”

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