Northern Sierra Nevada Sees Wettest Fall in 30 Years

California’s northern Sierra Nevada mountain range, home to some of the state’s largest reservoirs, had the wettest first two months of the water year since 1984, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Aqueduct carries water from the snowcapped Sierra Nevada Mountains to major urban areas of Southern California on May 9, 2008, near Lone Pine. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Aqueduct carries water from the snowcapped Sierra Nevada Mountains to major urban areas of Southern California on May 9, 2008, near Lone Pine. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Between October and November, the eight measuring stations along the northern range received an average of 18 inches of precipitation, or about 200% above average for the first two months of the state’s water year, said meteorologist Eric Kurth of the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

That amount of snow and rain in two months has only been seen 11 times in the region since record keeping began, Kurth said, and nearly every time the northern Sierra Nevada ended the water year with above average rainfall.

“I wasn’t expecting to see such a strong correlation. We are early, it’s certainly not a guarantee,” Kurth said. “But it’s interesting how many times that early wet start has led to a wet ending.”

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