Light Rain Was Just What Region Needed

A gentle two-day storm that ended early Tuesday left no more than a tenth of an inch of rain in the area, bringing countywide rain totals to only 29% of normal for this time of year.

But light rainfall is exactly what the county needs to recover from the recent fires, which denuded hillsides and left them vulnerable to erosion and mudslides in heavy rains.

"This has given us a little time for the new vegetation to get some roots down and take hold," said Jerrett McFarland, a spokesman for the Ventura County Flood Control District. "We also have time to repair all of our rain gauges that were burned in the fire. Some of them were melted down to nothing."

McFarland said the low rainfall totals have not caused concern about a possible return to drought years because the heaviest rain months are yet to come.

The weather should stay clear and breezy through the weekend, with highs in the high 60s and low 70s and winds gusting to 25 m.p.h., said Dennis Tussey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Tussey said the 90-day outlook in Ventura County is average for both rainfall and temperatures.

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