Sacramento Approaches a Record for Days Without Rain During the Winter. Could More Water Restrictions Be Coming Soon?

If this were the summer, it would hardly be worth mentioning. But the winter months are when the region expects to pick up a majority of its annual rainfall.

The good news is that despite this near-record long winter rainless streak, the season’s total rainfall (since Oct. 1) is still above average for Sacramento.

Without a significant change in the weather pattern, that would of course change. Currently, the city of Sacramento is asking residents to cut back water use by 15% of 2020 levels.

Climate Change Makes Projecting Lake Mead and Colorado River Levels Tricky

There’s a white line known as the bathtub ring around Lake Mead. It’s a constant reminder for Boating Lake Mead’s Director of Operations, Bruce Nelson. The lake is at a historically low 1,067-feet above sea level, affecting boat launch ramps and customers.

The West Needs a Lot of Snow to Escape Drought. This Year, That’s Unlikely

When you’ve been coming to the same place for decades, it’s easy to notice changes. On this ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the tell-tale signs of drought are everywhere. Todd Hagenbuch stands beside a silent, dusty creek bed, where golden grasses and scrub are beginning to reclaim the thin channel.

S.F. Saw Just 9 Inches of Rain This ‘Water Year.’ Here’s How That Compares to Normal

The water year has officially come to an end — and once again, the Bay Area has come up dry.

How dry? The region received a little more than a third of normal precipitation from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021, according to data from the National Weather Service — a common occurrence for the past several years, which bodes ill for a region already at the worst “exceptional” level on the U.S. Drought Monitor map.

Two Ways to Measure Annual Rainfall

Last Tuesday marked the end of the 2019 rain year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. Wednesday was the start of the 2020 rain year.

The 2018 rainfall season that occurred from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, produced 15.68 inches of rain at the Santa Maria Public Airport, or about 121% of normal.