By: Chris Stachelski, General Forecaster, Las Vegas Region.
Although much of Northern California received a soaking in December 2012, precipitation totals across the Golden State have been on the paltry side so far this water year (October 1– September 30). Since October 1st, 2012, precipitation totals statewide have been mostly below normal, with some areas across California generally 10 inches or more below normal.
Overall, the period from December 20th through December 29th, 2012 was the wettest period during the first half of the wet season across California. The precipitation that fell during this period has accounted for around half of what has fallen during the wet season through early March.
Why has this wet season started so dry in California? A lack of storm systems has been the primary reason. Although several storms impacted California during November and especially December, accompanied by a plume of rich moisture originating from the sub-tropics, storms became sparse as January and early February arrived. Additionally during this later period, the storms that did impact that state often had less moisture to work with resulting smaller precipitation amounts. Hopefully, March and April will bring much needed precipitation to the Golden State before the dry season starts to set in this summer.
“Since October 1, 2012, precipitation totals statewide have been mostly below normal…”