Western Weather Group: California Set For Record-Dry End to February

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dry, drought, California
Rainfall totals since January 28th, 2020 along with the dates of the last rainfall for select locations. Credit: Western Weather Group

A near-record dry spell is possible through the end of February in California. It’s been about 2 to 3 weeks since the last measurable rainfall across the northern 2/3rds of California (even then, the last rainfall was very light).

Things don’t appear to change much over the next 2-3 weeks, which could make this one of the longest stretches of dry weather recorded during the wet season. Several computer models still suggest that we may not receive any significant storm activity through the end of February.

dry, drought, California
European model 10-day rainfall forecast. No significant rainfall on the horizon.

Long-range models give us about a 4.5″ deficit over the next 32 days. Since we average about 4.5-5″ over that time period, this implies that we may not get much of anything in the way of rainfall.

Meanwhile, mild days followed by occasionally frosty nights could lead to early bud-break and expose early bloom to frost.

dry, drought, California
Long-range 32-day precipitation departure from average (through March 12th). This deficit is based on the average rainfall we would typically get between 2/9 and 3/12 on any given year (not seasonal deficit). If this holds true, most of the state will only have around 50% of the average annual rainfall for what is expected through mid-March.

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