Kern gets some rain, how much can it help?

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Rain finally came to Kern County, and more is predicted. Experts say every little bit from these storms will help, and there's hope the weather pattern could also change for the better. Kern County weather forecast {>}{>}The showers started Wednesday morning, and Eyewitness News Meteorologist Miles Muzio said that was a surprise - it wasn't supposed to get here that soon. "But, it's not much of a storm," Muzio said. "It's only two-hundredths of an inch of rain."But, he said there's more to come."This is just the beginning of what will be opening the door to a period of more heavy rain," Muzio said.But, the question is whether it can put a dent in the drought."I think it will," Muzio said. "But it's certainly not going to bring the drought to an end."He said the drought is the "worst in recorded history."Farmers are really hurting, and Kern County growers have so far been told they'll get zero allotment from both the State Water Project and the federal system.From the Kern County Water Agency, General Manager Jim Beck said chances that farmers will get a lot more look slim."If we received the average rainfall for the rest of the rainy season, which typically ends at the end of March, we might get up to 5 or 10 percent," he said. That's still a very meager allotment, and growers will have to use a lot of saved up water.The good news with the current rain is that it helps water managers move supplies which have been saved or "banked.""They're looking to have enough water in the system with the Delta area to move that water across the Delta and reach the export facilities that are necessary to get it to water users in Kern County," Beck explained.But, snow is actually more valuable than rain, and there's now hope for more of that, too."The largest reservoir in the state of California is the mountains," Beck said. "That's the type of water that may be there later in the season to provide some more flexibility."Muzio said the current storms look pretty good for snow."We're expecting a couple feet of snow, maybe more in the Sierras," he said. And, he sees snow coming to the mountain areas that eventually melt into Lake Isabella."I don't know that it's going to break the drought," Muzio said. "I don't think we're going to fill up, or anything like that."Meanwhile, Kern County ranchers say even the rain from Wednesday can help them. Jack Laver said that can make a difference to the grass in areas where they pasture cattle."It can instantly brighten up, and let the grass take off, especially with the warmer weather," Laver said. And, he said the rain should help the hay growers, too. That's more good news for cattle ranchers, who are buying more hay for feed during this drought."This should be really positive for all of us," Laver said.Muzio said Wednesday's rain should be followed by some clearing, and then there are predictions of more storms coming through. He said wet weather could come and go through the second week of March.And, Muzio said there's a chance the weather patterns could change for the better. There's a stubborn system that still might change."It's called the ridiculously resilient ridge," Muzio said. "This huge ridge which has been locked in place here in the west appears to be breaking down."