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Rain's return is short-lived

Posted: Monday, Jun 24th, 2013

A woman and a boy stroll along East Fifth Street under gray skies Monday morning. (Photo by Tom Dunlap/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Santa Cruz County residents had to break out the umbrellas Monday, a rarity for a month that’s been mostly dry.

The rain may have contributed to a fatal crash on southbound Highway 17 just outside Santa Cruz. A 21-year-old Concord man driving a Honda Accord hit a tree near Pasatiempo Drive, according to California Highway Patrol officer Bradley Sadek.

“Wet weather may have been a factor,” Sadek said.

The man, who has not been identified pending notification of his family, was discovered just before 6 a.m. The crash likely occurred sometime between 5 a.m. and 5:50 a.m., said Sadek.

In Watsonville, a total of 0.04 inches of rainfall was reported by late Monday morning at the weather station at the Watsonville Municipal Airport. That same amount was also recorded in Corralitos and Eureka Canyon.

That makes for a total of 0.06 inches of rain for the month of June, according to Warren Blier, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey.

That’s just slightly less than the average June rainfall, 0.12 inches, and less than the total for the same period last year, which was 0.21 inches, Blier said.

“Most days in June are dry,” he said, adding that we do occasionally see a little action like Monday’s during the month, though it’s rare.

The rainfall is expected to be short-lived. The National Weather Service forecast a 30 percent chance of rain Tuesday with winds of 5 to 9 mph continuing through the afternoon and calming in the evening. Temperatures are expected to hover in the high 60s.

The forecast for Wednesday is mostly sunny with a high near 74 degrees. More of the same can be expected for Thursday and Friday, though patchy fog is expected before 11 a.m. Friday. Both days should have a high around 74 degrees during the day, with temperatures dropping to 54 or 55 degrees at night.

As of the end of May, Watsonville has had just 13.85 inches of rainfall, about 61 percent of what’s considered average for the water year. The water year begins October 1 and ends September 30. There was no measurable rainfall in the entire month of May.

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