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January Rainfall about Double What’s Normal

It didn’t rain too heavily during January but it sure rained often, resulting in rainfall far above average for the month.


In Chico, 8.61 inches fell during the month at the Enterprise-Record weather station, nearly double the 4.86 inches normal for the month. The National Weather Service put the rain in Oroville for January at 7.18 inches, with 20.2 inches in Paradise. Red Bluff saw 13.69 inches and Redding, 12.68 inches. The Weather Service said rainfall amounts of 100 percent to 250 percent of normal were common across the area

Effects of Drought for Forests and Rangelands

The U.S. Forest Service today released a new report, Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis, that provides a national assessment of peer-reviewed scientific research on the impacts of drought on U.S. forests and rangelands. This report will help the Forest Service better manage forests and grasslands impacted by climate change.

UCSC Study: Drought Testing Limits of Hardy Ferns

California’s unprecedented dry spell has tested the limits of drought-tolerant ferns, which carpet the forest floor underneath the West Coast’s iconic redwoods, according to a new study by UC Santa Cruz scientists.


“We’ve never seen a drought of this magnitude,” said co-author Jarmila Pittermann, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “You’re used to seeing a green understory, but in the last four years without rain, they’re white or brown. They dried up.”

Snow Tops Peaks on West Side of Central San Joaquin Valley, Affects National Park Access

The prodigious storm that brought nearly an inch of rain to Fresno on Sunday left another gift overnight – snow along ridges on the west side of the central San Joaquin Valley.


The snow level dropped to below 2,000 feet overnight as the cold storm moved through the area, said Modesto Vasquez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Hanford.

Vasquez said snow would be topping the highest peaks of the Diablo Range on the Valley’s west side, including Santa Rita Ridge, which stands at 5,000 feet near Coalinga.

Buoyed by Recent Rains, Folsom Lake Levels Triple

 What a difference a month of rain makes.

Two months ago, Folsom Lake stood at its lowest depth in history, and federal officials were engineering a special pumping system to ensure drinking water would keep flowing to Sacramento suburbs.


Following a month of persistent rain and snow in Northern California, lake levels are triple what they were in early December, and the reservoir contains more water than average for early February.

How Much Rain Has SoCal Received This Year? Here’s One Way to Keep Track

Southern California got drenched Sunday, with some areas getting up to three inches of rain. It’s an El Niño year. So does that mean Southern California’s rainfall is ahead of normal this year?

Not yet.

As of Monday morning, the region has received 41.1 percent of a normal winter’s precipitation. That’s behind even the median, or typical year, which by February is at 56.3 percent.


And if you look at just recent years with strong El Niños, median precipitation is even further ahead by this point: 78.8 percent.

Reservoirs Slowly Filling, Sierra Snowpack above Normal

The second Sierra snowpack measurement of the winter is Tuesday. January has brought much needed snow, but February may start a bit more slowly.


It was the best month for snowpack in January since 2011.


And the statewide snowpack is above normal.

“We’ve not had a snowpack for the last four years, anything worth writing home about, so this is obviously very significant for this time of year,” says Meteorologist Michelle Mead, with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

Obama Administration Aims To Reduce US Water Footprint

The Obama administration has begun an initiative aimed at making the United States more water-efficient, saying the country has the potential to reduce its total water use by a third.

Deputy Interior Secretary Mike Connor said some of the White House’s objectives include encouraging more recycling of wastewater and promoting investment in water treatment and desalination technologies.

County Cleans Up After Damaging Storm

Workers across the county were hustling Monday to clear streets of the broken trees that were blown into traffic Sunday by a powerful wind and rain storm that also caused major power outages.

Winds gusted as high as 65 mph along the coast and hit with particular force in La Jolla, clogging parts of North Torrey Pines Road with the twisted remains of trees. Motorists also are being slowed in such communities as La Mesa, Oceanside and the Rancho Bernardo area.