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Monday, January 09, 2017

It DOES Rains in California!

by Calculated Risk on 1/09/2017 01:44:00 PM

California has been enduring a five year drought, but it is raining in SoCal and snowing in the mountains this year.

Here are a few resources to track the rain and snow.

These tables show the snowpack in the North, Central and South Sierra. Currently the snowpack is about 101% of normal for this date in the North, 118% of normal in the Central Sierra, and 167% of normal in the Southern Sierra.  A great start to the season.

And here are some plots comparing the current and previous years to the average, a very dry year ('14-'15) and a wet year ('82-'83). This winter is above normal so far.

And for Los Angeles, here is a historical table of annual rainfall. After five years of significantly below average rainfall, this year is above normal (and the rain is still falling).

It is too early to declare the five-year drought over, but this is good news for the state and the state economy. It will be interesting to see how much the reservoirs fill up in the Spring.

Tyndall CreekFor Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail hikers, I recommend using the Upper Tyndall Creek sensor to track the snow conditions. This graph shows the snow water content for Upper Tyndall Creek for the last 40 years. Note: I hiked the trail in September 1998 - a very wet year - and there was snow all year on Mt. Whitney.

There were four very dry years in a row, and then last winter was a little better - but still below normal.

There is already as much snow this year as last year.