Storm gives way to clearer Sonoma County skies, colder temps

After days of on-again-off-again showers across the North Bay, courtesy of what some meteorologists have called the strongest storm of the season, Wednesday is promising a return of the sun.|

After days of on-again-off-again showers across the North Bay, courtesy of what some meteorologists have called the strongest storm of the season, Wednesday is promising a return of the sun.

Heavy rains from an intense system that began late Sunday dropped as much as 2 inches on parts of the region, particularly in the hills bordering Napa County, according to the National Weather Service.

The majority of Sonoma County, though, received about .75 to 1.4 inches of rain since early Monday, weather service meteorologist Roger Gass said Tuesday

Santa Rosa’s precipitation totals varied across the city, but ultimately they ranged from about .75 to 1.25 inches, Gass added.

On Monday, Santa Rosa fire officials, citing several factors that include the recent rains, declared an end to this year’s threat of severe wildfires. The announcement is specific to Santa Rosa and means residents no longer have to keep their properties in compliance with the city’s weed abatement ordinance, said Santa Rosa Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal.

The storm has wreaked havoc in other parts of the state.

In Sacramento County Tuesday there was a report of a tornado.

The National Weather Service said the tornado touched down at 1:40 p.m. a few miles outside the town of Galt.

NBC affiliate KCRA in Sacramento reported that a tin roof on a barn was blown off and took down utility lines. No other damage was reported.

In Southern California, one person died and two others were reported missing in after the raging current in a stream channel in Ontario swept six people away, killing one, the Ontario Fire Department said.

Firefighters rescued three others from the water, and they were searching for the others.

Back in the North Bay, forecasters expect that besides an end to the heavy rains, Wednesday will likely usher a slight drop in temperatures.

On Tuesday, temperatures in much of Sonoma County spanned from the lower 40s into the upper 50s, according to weather service meteorologist David King.

Wednesday morning, he said, temperatures across Sonoma County’s valleys are expected to be chilly, hitting anywhere from 36 to 41 degrees.

Some rain could linger until about midday, but it is expected to give way to clear skies in addition to the cooler temperatures, Gass said.

Wednesday’s high is expected to reach 58 degrees with an anticipated low of 35 — temperatures that will likely continue through the rest of the week, along with partly sunny skies, some patchy fog, and a possible return of showers on Saturday, according to the weather service.

By Thursday and Friday morning, parts of Sonoma County, Healdsburg and Windsor, in particular, could see temperatures at or above freezing temperatures, according to King.

Santa Rosa can expect to wake up to about 35 degrees on those mornings, he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Reach Staff Writer Madison Smalstig at madison.smalstig@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter @madi.smals.

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