Rain’s Hefty Reign

January 21, 2016

1371724873_Rain_brad-sharpMostly-overcast on California’s north coast this early Thursday, though, on occasion a sharp-crack of bright sunshine floods the senses, drops a surreal shot of color, then disappears way-too quickly back into gray-gloom.
Just the rainy season…

And supposedly a good one, especially along the shoreline here, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor‘s weekly update, there’s been enough wet to maybe influence the drought (via KTLA): ‘“The recent rains have put us on a good trajectory to perhaps have a shot out of the drought if it were to continue at the current rate,” said Doug Carlson, a spokesman with the California Department of Water Resources.’

We splashed — preliminary rainfall totals for December from the NWS this morning indicate my little spot received 222 percent of normal, nearly 19-inches of rain last month.

(Illustration: ‘Rain,’ by Brad Sharp, found here).

My little spot being in the near-vicinity of the Eureka/Arcata Airport, where on the list, last year’s total was less than 10-inches, and the ‘normal’ for that month was under-9 — yes, indeed a wet holiday. But we knew that already…
Our portion of the Sierra Nevada mountain range received good rain, too, 114 percent of average, and doing even better, the Sierra Nevadas down in central California got 122 percent of average.

And the weather’s been good to the water system — from SFGate yesterday afternoon:

California lake levels are rising as fast as the stock market is falling, with Folsom Lake east of Sacramento rising an astonishing 44 feet in just over a month and Lake Oroville, the second most expansive water storage facility in the state rising another 20 feet.
Early December saw Folsom Lake, just off Highway 50 on the way up to South Lake Tahoe, dwindle to the hydrological equivalent of a mud puddle.

A view of rapid-rain amounts and further on Oroville (per Gizmodo last evening): ‘On December 9, 2015, Lake Oroville had recorded its lowest water level for the year and was very close to reaching its lowest water level ever. But then El Niño arrived! And by yesterday evening, the water level in Lake Oroville had risen 20 feet in 10 days, the Department of Water Resources told KRCR.’
Supposedly, the lake was at 698.14 feet of water on Wednesday, out of a maximum elevation of 900 — more rain, more higher.

And we’re expecting some heavy rain later this afternoon as another storm is forecast to drench the area, reportedly to include colder temperatures — so it goes.
Warm-feeling outside right now, however, even with the gloom-overcast — maybe it’s the brief flash of sunshine…

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