‘Global Warming Drought’ Over As Northern California Sees Wettest Year On Record
It is now the wettest year on record in the Northern California mountains, National Weather Service officials said Thursday.
An index of precipitation at eight sensors showed that just under 90 inches of rain and snow have fallen this winter in the northern Sierra Nevada.
The previous record of 88.5 inches was set in the winter of 1982-1983. The average for the region is 50 inches a year, according to the state Department of Water Resources.
The record was surpassed less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared an end to California’s drought emergency — a largely symbolic pronouncement that left in place some water-conservation rules for the 40 million residents of the nation’s most populous state.
More snow and rain is likely to pad the record before the wet season ends.
A winter weather advisory was in effect for the northern Sierra for much of Thursday with forecasts for moderate to heavy snow along with rain at lower elevations. More storms were forecast for next week.
The measurements were taken from sensors spread from Mount Shasta near the Oregon border to Pacific House between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe.
Winter storms have blanketed mountains in snow, flooded urban areas and caused damage that could top $1 billion.
The weather also taxed reservoirs, dams and levees designed to control floods and capture winter rain and snow for agriculture and drinking water throughout the state.
The five sensors that make up the San Joaquin region have recorded 68.2 inches of rain — almost double the average for this time of year and roughly on pace with the 1983 record of 77.4 inches, according to the Water Resources Department.