Recent rain pushes season total near 3 inches
Little by little the rain gauge is filling up
Saturday night’s storm deposited another 0.31 of an inch of rain in Porterville, pushing the seasonal total to 2.89 inches. The season runs July 1 through June 30.
Average rainfall for this time of year is more than 3 inches, but the 1.82 inches of rain in December and the third of an inch this month is far better than December and January produced last year. Good storms in October and November last year were deceiving, but December 2011 was bone dry and only 1.10 inches of rain was measured in January of 2012.
Local weather observer Greg Chadwell said most of the rain this year has come in the past two and half months. Nearly an inch of rain fell in late November.
The winter-type storms produce more snowfall, and while the northern half of the state has done much better than the southern half, all of the state is running ahead of average for this time of year, the state Department of Water Resources said.
As of Monday, the snowpack on average statewide is 123 percent of average and already half of the magical April 1 mark. April 1 is the measurement used to finalize how much water will be made available to farmers.
The snowpack in the central part of the state is at 123 percent of average and it is 120 percent for the southern part of the state. The northern snowpack is said to be 129 percent of average.
The state reported more than 8 inches of water content in the snowpack at Quaking Aspen above Porterville and Success Lake was at about 12,000 acre feet of water, about the maximum that is allowed this time of the year.
Calvin Foster, lake manager, said a half of an inch of rain fell at the lake over the weekend.
He said the lake will be held at 12,000 acre feet for a few more weeks before officials will allow the pool to increase.
The National Weather Service reported lightning strikes along the San Mateo and Monterey County coasts, and snow fell in the higher elevations of the Santa Lucia Mountains, a mountain range that runs from Monterey County south to San Luis Obispo.
In Southern California, the storm dropped snow as low as 3,500 feet early Sunday, and a total of 1 to 5 inches of snow fell in the region’s mountains. The largest amount — 5 inches — were measured at Pine Cove in Riverside County, the weather service reported.
Snow and icy conditions slowed traffic through the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles, but the California Highway Patrol did not close lanes.
The storms are not stopping, the National Weather Service is calling for a 20 percent chance of rain Wednesday night, 60 percent chance Thursday and 20 percent Thursday night.
“This will be a limited precipitation system but will be cold,” reported the weather service.
Snow levels could drop as low as 2,000 feet on Thursday and 1,500 feet on Friday before it moves out of the area.
Wednesday morning is predicted to be foggy.