Update: March 3, 2014 - Rain totals for the month of Feb., 2014 are looking good, but season to date (July 1, 2013 - Feb. 28, 2014) rainfall is still well below average - view the details in the tables and charts below (provided by Cheryl Albritton.)
Use the player below to hear KMUD Weather Watcher, Cheryl Albritton, report the latest details. This story was aired on the KMUD Local News on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson.
Update: Feb. 10, 2014 - Latest storm brings some relieve to California drought crisis.
The creeks, rivers and ponds in the North Calif. Coastal area are looking somewhat better as the last three day rainfall brings some much needed precipitation to our area. KMUD News Weather Watcher, Cheryl Albritton, had this to say as she supplied the local rainfall numbers for the Feb.6 through Feb. 10 period. "Turns out we didn't need a Miracle March or Miracle May. Instead we got a Fabulous February!! Here are some rainfall totals for this recent storm - shown going from highest rainfall amount to lowest rainfall amount."
In the second table below Cheryl searched out and reported areas in California that had the highest daily rainfall during specific days of that Feb. 6-10 period. All numbers are reported in inches.
Update: Jan 30, 2014 - Our area has received some rain in this last storm (see below for the actual numbers from Cheryl Albritton) but not enough to affect current drought conditions. On last night's KMUD Local News, Anchor Amber Griffin aired an interview with Robert Ruehl, the Observing Program Leader with the National Weather Service in Eureka who indicates that, "The rainfall we experienced over the last 24 hours hasn't really been anything we can consider a drought buster." Use the player below, to hear more on the rainfall issue, including some speculations on what may lie head for our area.
According to KMUD Weather Watcher Cheryl Albritton, "While this storm system didn't do much as far as the drought is considered, it was a much needed drop in the bucket of water. Fire danger will be dampened down for a few days, and the flora and fauna, as well as a few vehicles, got a much needed bath."
The table below shows local rainfall totals for the two-day storm system, Jan.28-29, 2014 - data and table supplied by Cheryl Albritton.
Update Jan. 26, 2014: It's dry, dry....dry
Weather watching has become the hot topic of conversation and concern lately as California Governor Brown declared a state-wide drought emergency on Jan. 17, 2014. Locally, December rainfall totals were very low and continued lack of rain in January has many worried about what this may mean for our summer creeks, rivers and fish. Lake Oroville and lake Shasta are both at only 36% full and other reservoirs fair even worse, while the Sierra snow-pack, where the state gets about a third of its water, was 84% below average as of Jan. 10.
The lack of precipitation is attributed to a massive zone of high pressure nearly four miles high and 2,000 miles long that has been blocking storms for more than a year. Meteorologist Daniel Swain calls this "The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.” And according to Swain’s blog, the Calif. Weather Blog (http://www.weatherwest.com) , blocking ridges and persistent high surface pressure centers are actually a fairly common feature of the climate over the North Pacific region in winter and have often been associated with periods of dry and stable weather along the West Coast of North America, including California. But this present condition, the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge (RRR), has behaved in a manner not typical of most North Pacific ridging events. The RRR keeps re-building, and it is this resilience that makes it extremely unusual.
There are even speculations that we could be headed into a cycle of longer lasting drought periods as evidence mounts that ancient droughts in California occurred about 1100 years ago and lasted as long as 220 years and that relatively wet periods like the 20th century have been the exception rather than the rule in California. This information appeared in a New York Times Science article by William K. Stevens on July 19, 1994 and cited work done by Dr. Scott Stine, a paleoclimatologist at California State University at Hayward, who used radiocarbon dating techniques to determine the age of the trees' outermost annual growth rings.
KMUD Weather Watcher, Cheryl Albritton, has suppied the charts and tables of rainfall seen below, and according to Cheryl, "California is set to have 2013 go down as the driest year since 1850. Here is a snapshot of the month of Dec in Humboldt County - 2010 thru 2013. The extreme swings in the pattern of precipitation are readily apparent."
Sat., Jan. 11, 2014 storm rainfall totals, in inches, Humboldt, Mendocino, Del Norte and Trinity Counties.
(Data supplied by Cheryl Albritton.)