Humboldt County recorded its third highest rainfall total in the 2016-17 water year since records first began 130 years ago, according to the National Weather Service Eureka. The downpour caused tens of millions of dollars in damage to local infrastructure and seemingly failed to produce the beneficial effects to fish and wildlife on the Klamath River that some were hoping for. Nearly 64 inches of rain were recorded at the weather service’s Woodley Island station from the start of the water year on Oct. 1, 2016, through Wednesday.
As increasingly intense hurricanes batter the Southeast and the Caribbean, heightening some of the worst fears about a changing climate, California is facing its own threat of bigger and more destructive storms. Mounting research, much of it done in the wake of the near-record rains that pulled California out of a five-year drought this past winter, shows that seasonal soakers may not come as often as they used to, but could pack more punch when they do arrive.