Fox News Weather Center

Storm to deliver desperately needed rain to California at midweek

A slow-moving storm will bring several days of beneficial rainfall to the southwestern United States beginning at the middle of the week.

Showers are expected to move into northern California on Wednesday morning, before gradually spreading into central and Southern California, Nevada, Utah and northern Arizona late on Wednesday into Thursday.

"The Central Valley and Sierra Nevada will likely have the steadiest rainfall," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey. "However, spotty showers will survive the trip into Southern California and farther inland."

A few rumbles of thunder could accompany the showers across the Southern California mountains.

"Unlike previous systems in recent weeks, this storm is expected to dive much farther south," Duffey explained.

Spotty showers could reach as far south as Los Angeles and San Diego.

Increased clouds and rain will drop high temperatures into the 60s and 70s F across central California at midweek, which will be quite a contrast from the 80s and 90s expected on Monday and Tuesday.

While most areas can expect under an inch of rain, any rainfall will be beneficial considering the magnitude of the drought across California heading into the state's dry season.

"With almost 90% of California in at least moderate drought and almost all of Southern California in extreme drought, any rain will be helpful at this point," Duffey stated.

Dry weather has also been the theme farther east, with pockets of moderate to extreme drought extending into parts of the interior Southwest.

Widespread flash flooding will not be a huge threat given the spotty nature of the rain across the Southwest. Still, any location that sits under a prolonged, heavy downpour could experience runoff of water onto streets due to the extremely dry ground.

Adding an additional threat to the region will be any dry thunderstorms that pop up across Nevada, Arizona and Utah on Thursday.

Dry thunderstorms are associated with dangerous lightning and sudden bursts of wind, but in the absence of rainfall. These storms are just as dangerous as regular thunderstorms and can quickly kick up dust or spark fires.

Unfortunately, rain is not expected to reach New Mexico where the fire danger will remain high throughout the week.

As California begins to dry out late on Thursday into Friday, showers and a few thunderstorms will linger across much of the Intermountain West to end the week.

Latest indications are that storms may track more towards the Pacific Northwest and bypass much of the Southwest to start the month of May.

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