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Rain refilling Nacimiento Lake

jjohnston@thetribunenew.com

Recent winter rains have helped boost water levels at Nacimiento Lake, which had dropped to severe lows after three years of drought.

Earlier this week, the lake was at 44 percent of its capacity, compared with 27 percent about a year ago.

These pictures show the impact. The photo of the dried-up lake, taken in an upper arm of Nacimiento, was shot on Feb. 1, 2009. Private docks sit on the mud.

The next photo, taken last Sunday at the same spot, reveals docks once again floating and nooks of the lake refilling with water.

Rain is next expected on Friday afternoon, as several storm systems are slated to move into Central California, according to John Lindsey, a local forecaster and media relations representative for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

That storm is forecast to bring rain through Saturday morning, with between 0.25 and 0.75 inches expected to fall, he said.

A break will occur Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, but another storm will bring rain Sunday night through Monday morning. Showers will linger through Tuesday.

This rain season has already been wetter than the previous three: As of Wednesday, San Luis Obispo had received 24.55 inches of rain, just over the yearly normal of 24.36 inches. The rain year runs from July 1 to June 30.

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