January 2016 has been much wetter than the previous Januaries during this drought. Precipitation is modestly above average, as is snowpack, and climatic conditions remain promising. The largest reservoirs are mostly fuller than a year ago, although not nearly to average conditions for this time of year. Groundwater is likely to be recharging, as it should this time of year in most places, but we still sit atop a large hole.
Archive for month: January, 2016
You are now in California and the U.S. category.
The first month of 2016 was the wettest January in Sonoma County in six years and saw the most rainfall for the period since the start of the current drought, a hopeful sign as the North Coast and the rest of the state struggle to recover from four years of scarce precipitation.
The National Weather Service measured 10.01 inches of rain at its gauge at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa during the month of January. That’s more than the previous four January months combined, since the drought began in 2012.
The weekend storm brought plenty of rain and records to the central San Joaquin Valley and snow in the Sierra on Sunday, but it looks to be the last storm for a while.
Monday’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with daytime highs in the 50s, a forecast that is not expected to change much for most of the week, according to the National Weather Service.
More than 3.7 inches of rain fell on the mountains above Azusa, winds topped 70 miles per hour and the San Fernando Valley escaped the possibility of a”small, brief tornado” as a strong squall line of rain blew through today.
The line of strong storms, moving east, was in a line from Malibu to Burbank during the 1 p.m. hour, forecasters said. It moved east across L.A. County at about 50 miles per hour, with pockets of sun and rain alternating behind it.
Just how far could a wet winter go toward replenishing Southern California’s water reserves? Some. Maybe even a lot. But by itself that will not be enough to ensure we have the water for years ahead and inevitable droughts. Capturing and delivering sufficient supplies in a typical year is what really determines the reliability of a water system. And for that, today’s system is not as effective as it needs to be.
In yet another step to further protect against drought, the city of Carlsbad unveiled expansion efforts of its recycled water plant on Wednesday. Along with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld, Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall touted the $37 million project.
Blumenfeld also announced the EPA is distributing more than $182 million, including the Carlsbad project, throughout California to invest in statewide improvements for water infrastructure.
A powerful storm moved into Southern California on Sunday, bringing unusually strong winds of up to 70 mph to Los Angeles and Ventura counties.Officials warned that the storm is forecast to bring heavy rain and a risk of flash floods, especially in recently burned areas that could see mud flow down hillsides.
Strong winds were expected to cause flight problems at Los Angeles International Airport, and forecasters said there was enough instability aloft that there could be a 36% chance of thunderstorms in parts of the L.A. area. Waterspouts and even weak tornadoes are possible.
On the edge of the Central Valley is the center of California’s water system: the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, where the state’s two largest rivers meet.
A plan to restore the Delta by channeling water down south has long been a priority for Governor Jerry Brown’s administration. Despite its various names and strategies, the project has been riddled with controversy since Brown first assumed office in the late ’70s.
They were blamed for planting too many trees, using too much water and worsening the effects of California’s epic drought. The state’s almond farmers responded by expanding their orchards in a bold wager that the sky-high prices the world was paying for almonds justified both the water use and long-term investment.
Now those farmers are dealing with a steep drop in prices – and wondering if the great almond boom that transformed Central Valley agriculture is starting to fizzle. Almond prices in California have dropped significantly in the past few months. A farmer who could sell a pound of almonds for nearly $5 last summer is now getting as little as $3.10.
Hopping from one rock to another, Sue Ann Arens led her two boxers one recent afternoon up and down the uneven slopes of Folsom Lake, which years of drought have stripped bare. Their daily walks along Sacramento’s backyard reservoir had become a hike through the lake bed.
Well-worn trails threaded through clusters of brush in areas usually covered by water.By the next afternoon, Arens had to change course. A morning storm had submerged part of her trail. In the distance, water rippled over an island that had surfaced last year when the lake hit bottom.