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Light rain ends below-average official year for rainfall in Sonoma County

Hours of light drizzle Monday, mainly in the coastal areas, likely marked the end of Sonoma County’s official water year, with total precipitation at less than 40% of the region’s historic average.

The wettest part of the Bay Area, Gualala, in the coastal hills of Mendocino County, recorded 0.57 of rain and most coastal areas saw a quarter inch or less. In the few inland areas that recorded measurable rain, including Santa Rosa, no more than 0.05 fell, said Drew Peterson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

The drizzle brought the total at the Sonoma County airport to 12.93 inches for the water year, which ends Sept. 30. The 30-year average is 33.74 inches, said Anna Schneider, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

There wasn’t likely to be much change past Monday, Schneider said, as the cold front that ushered in the rainfall is set to dissipate.

By Thursday and Friday, the forecast calls for warmer days, with inland areas including Santa Rosa reaching highs in the low- to mid-80s.

As drizzle dampened the coast, the National Weather Service warned beachgoers of hazardous surf conditions from 11 p.m. Monday to 11 p.m. Tuesday because of a building northwest swell.

The Beach Hazard Statement covered the coast from Sonoma County south to Monterey County. The dangerous conditions, including rip tides and large shorebreaks, are set to impact west to northwest facing beaches.

“This is the first larger northwest swell we’ve had in quite a long time, since last winter,” Schneider said, warning of waves up to 17 feet high.

She advised people to stay off rocks and coastal jetties, keep an eye on children and pets and never turn their backs to the ocean.

The swell will arrive Monday night, increase throughout Tuesday and subside by Wednesday, she said.

You can reach Staff Writer Alana Minkler at 707-526-8511 or alana.minkler@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @alana_minkler.

Video: Rain in Santa Rosa downtown

It was raining in downtown Santa Rosa Monday evening

Editor’s Note: The area of Gualala was edited to more accurately reflect it’s location in northern Mendocino County.

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