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As much as 8 inches of rain expected this weekend

Debra Hammerlee tries to stay dry on her way to yoga class in Petaluma on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

Published: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 8:04 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 8:04 a.m.

A wet weather system that moved in Wednesday night dropped nearly an inch of rain on Sonoma County, though not nearly enough to beat the persistent drought that is gripping much of the state.

A weekend storm starting tonight should bring up to 8 inches of rain, forecasters said, and help saturate arid farms, ranches and alarmingly low reservoirs.

“The drought is not over, not by any stretch,” said Diana Henderson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. “This certainly helps, but it's no solution by any means.”

Since Wednesday night, the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport received 0.84 of an inch of rain to boost Santa Rosa's total rainfall since July 1 to 3.57 inches. Santa Rosa normally receives 19.42 inches of rain by this time.

It was the most rain since June 25, when 1.20 inches fell on Santa Rosa.

January, normally the wettest month, had 0.10 of an inch of rain, the driest start to the year on record.

The recent wet weather is a result of a breakdown in a stubborn high pressure ridge off the coast that had been pushing precipitation north, Henderson said.

After the weekend storm, the weather should clear Monday.

Staff Writer Randi Rossmann contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Matt Brown at 521-5206 or matt.brown@pressdemocrat.com.

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