Storm soaks South County


South County got its wet wish over the last few days. And then some.

A long-awaited storm system dropped more than four inches of rain on the region from Wednesday through Sunday, finally bringing moisture to a region suffering through its driest winter in more than two decades.

But despite some scattered showers Monday morning, it’s likely back to dry times for South County – at least until February, according to the National Weather Service.

“It’s pretty much over. At this point, it looks like it’s probably going to be dry the rest of the month,” said Austin Cross, a meteorologist based in Monterey. “Unfortunately, it looks like we’re getting back into that persistent dry pattern we had for much of January.”

There should be some patchy fog today and Wednesday, but after that, it’s sunshine and highs near the mid-60s for the rest of the week, according to a National Weather Service forecast.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department responded to four reports of downed trees and road debris in South County over the weekend, including Hecker Pass Highway at Rancho Vista Drive and along Santa Teresa Boulevard near Gavilan College, Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.

Rain may have played a factor in the estimated 20 crashes in South County, five of which were on U.S. 101 near Morgan Hill, according to the California Highway Patrol. There were no reported fatalities, and no major injuries. Only one crash resulted in a minor injury. 

Deputies also were dispatched to several homes for false alarms caused by heavy winds, Cardoza said. The Sheriff’s department assisted with five traffic accidents in which the slick roadways played a part, three along State Highway 152 near Gilroy. 

Cardoza said South County residents should reduce their speeds when driving during stormy weather and report any roadway debris, downed power lines or other hazards as soon as they encounter them.

According to Morgan Hill resident Chris Henry, a local weather enthusiast, 4.9 inches of rain fell on Morgan Hill last weekend, ending an almost eight-week dry spell. 

Temperatures were mostly in the 50s throughout the weekend, Cross said – a change from the lows of 29 degrees that hit the second week of January.

Last year at this time, 11.77 inches of rain had fallen, compared with 7.9 inches so far this rainy season. 

Although the rest of the valley didn’t see strong winds (of more than 20 mph), the nearby Santa Cruz mountains saw gusts reach 40 to 50 miles per hour Friday night. 

Tuesday: Calm winds; high 61 degrees, low 38
Wednesday: High 66 degrees, low 40 degrees
Thursday: Mostly cloudy; high 66 degrees, low 39 degrees
Friday: Sunny; high 62 degrees, low 37 degrees
Saturday: Sunny; high 63 degrees, low 38 degrees
Source: National Weather Service