Weather this week: Much-needed rain expected Wednesday

A day of predicted sunshine is expected to give way to some much-needed rainfall this week.

Just how much precipitation the North Coast sees is still up in the air.

According to the National Weather Service, a 50 percent chance of rain Tuesday night is set to be followed by a 90 percent shot at precipitation Wednesday.

NWS meteorologists are forecasting potential rain Thursday through Saturday.

Wednesday's high chance of rainfall is a welcome sight for the parched North Coast region.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (droughtmonitor.unl.edu), nearly 91 percent of California is classified as D2 to D4 -- severe drought to exceptional drought conditions. Nearly 69 percent of the state is designated in extreme drought.

The North Coast is painted red on the USDM map as of Feb. 18, meaning the region is in an extreme drought.

Three months ago, 84 percent of the state was in the D2 to D4 designation, and only 28 percent was in extreme drought conditions.

Going even further, this time last year, USDM data shows only 24 percent of California was designated by the organization as D2. Nearly 85 percent of the state was abnormally dry, and no regions sat in the extreme or exceptional drought category.

Coastal Central and Southern California represent the nearly 15 percent of the state designated under the exceptional drought classification by the USDM.

FORECAST AT A GLANCE:

Monday

Partly sunny, with a high near 55 degrees. Calm wind at around 6 miles per hour.

Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46.

Tuesday

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57.

Night: A 50 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48.

Wednesday

A 90 percent chance of rain, with a high near 57.

Night: Rain, with a low around 46.

Thursday

A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 58.

Night: A chance of showers, with a low around 45.

Friday

Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 54.

Night: Rain likely with a low around 44.

Saturday

Showers likely, with a high near 54.

Ray Aspuria can be reached evenings at 707-441-0527 or raspuria@times-standard.com. Follow him at twitter.com/AirUpsa707

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