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‘Strange Season’: Is It Really Winter?

Not since 1959 has Stockton staggered into the new year with less than an inch of total rainfall. But that’s exactly what’s just happened. It almost seems like we’ve gone from drought, to flood, right back to drought. That may be premature. Our reservoirs are well above average, still flush with last year’s bounty. And there’s still plenty of winter left to add to that supply. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed here, too,” said Hannah Chandler, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

Beginning of 2018 Drought?

Every year is different for water management in California. The 2012-2016 water years were among the driest and warmest on record. 2017 was the wettest year of record for much of California, with thousands of water managers struggling to store as much water as possible in reservoirs and aquifers. So far for this 2018 water year (which began October 1), Northern California precipitation is about 67% of average for this time of year.  Further south, the San Joaquin Basin precipitation is about 38% of average and Tulare basin is about 25% of average.  Snowpack statewide is about 27% of average for this time of year.