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Monday's rain first in months, more storms expected

January 09, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The first real rain in three months fell on the Imperial Valley on Monday, and another storm is expected to hit the area Thursday and Friday.

County Meteorologist Jim Christopherson said this morning the storm Thursday could be stronger than the one that dropped less than an inch of rain on the El Centro area Monday.

However, he said it is hard to say how strong the storm will be locally. In other parts of the state, heavy rains are expected.

Christopherson said it is likely the Valley will receive less rain than other areas in the state because it could catch the southernmost portion of the storm.


He added the weather will remain "unsettled" into next week, which means cooler temperatures and more rain could occur.

Monday's rain came after three dry months. The last local rain of note, according to Christopherson's records, fell in October.

Christopherson said the past year has been known as a "non-niƱo" year because of below-normal rainfall and warmer-than-normal temperatures.

In December the Imperial Valley's temperature averaged three degrees above normal.

For those in the fire service responsible for protecting rural areas, dry conditions create a concern.

Imperial County fire Capt. Tony Moreno said despite dry conditions, this year has not been any worse for brush fires in the Valley than past years.

For growers involved in the lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower harvests, the rain is not expected to have a negative effect, said John Hawk, incoming president of the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association.

Hawk said the small amount of rain should not affect the harvests. However, he said if the rain continues, it could have an effect.

Hawk pointed out the rain could prove positive for local growers, because areas such as Salinas and Bakersfield are experiencing more rainfall. That means the harvest in those areas could slow, which opens the market for Valley growers.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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