Foggy Drought

February 16, 2016
My beautiful picture

(Illustration: Fog-shrouded sun off my back patio this morning).

Fog with a bit of sunshine every-once-in-a-while on a Tuesday afternoon here on California’s north coast — a little chilly, but not unpleasant, seemingly feels seasonal, maybe spring or early summer.
Some rain forecast for tonight and tomorrow, and another system due supposedly for Friday.
Cold fronts both, according to the NWS, a low pressure trough frontal system will bring rain and strong, gusty winds to our area, maybe a chance of some thunderstorms and small hail, probably in the morning.

After starting with a bang, this rainy season has seemingly slowed to a dribble — though rain is in the immediate forecast, the little WunderBlog‘s weather-forecaster thingy displays a ‘normal‘ forecast for the next 10 days. Not the huge blocks of heavy rain like now-early last month.
Drought-wise, we need rain/snow — from SFGate this afternoon:

The snowpack in the northern reaches of the Sierra, which stretches from near the Oregon border to Lake Tahoe, was 99 percent of normal for mid-February, the California Department of Water Resources said. Statewide, the snowpack was 91 percent of normal.

The Sierra was forecast to get another dumping of snow this week.
The National Weather Service was predicting up to 2 feet of new snow in higher elevations and wind gusts up to 60 mph on Wednesday and Thursday.
“It’s a lot better than it was last year,” said Ted Thomas, spokesman for the Department of Water Resources.
“We started out very good this winter and, even though we’ve had a dry period, that’s supposed to change.”

As for the drought, Thomas said it was “very, very unlikely that we will completely pull out of it” by summer.
“It’s possible we will put a deep dent in the drought,” he said.
“It’s also possible the drought will continue for a fifth straight year.”

Some aspects of California will change forever due to the drought.
Interesting piece at PolitiFact, also this morning, on separating fact from fiction regarding California’s drought, like El Niño will end the drought — not so fast:

The prolonged drought has left the northern Sierra Nevada with a rainfall deficit of about 30 inches.
As of early February, this winter’s storms had delivered about 110 percent of normal precipitation in that region, home to the state’s largest reservoirs.
It’s a good start, but well behind the pace needed to end the drought.
And that was before this month’s dry spell.
To wipe away the shortfall, the state would need to get an additional 80 inches of rain in the northern Sierra before October — on top of the nearly 33 inches that have fallen since last fall.
That’s the amount of precipitation needed to close the gap and maintain an average year.
“It’s really going to take multiple years of above normal precipitation to get safely out of the drought,” said Alan Haynes, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

And a heavy-impact this:

Several experts added that filling California’s surface reservoirs would only address part of the drought’s impact.
Replenishing the vast amounts of groundwater pumped during the drought could take decades.
In areas where the soil has collapsed due to large amounts of pumping, it may not be possible to recharge underground aquifers.
In parts of the southern San Joaquin Valley, “you might not be able to refill the groundwater that’s been overdrafted,” said Jay Lund, a UC Davis environmental engineering professor.
“They might never refill, actually, from this drought.”

Fogged future — a few days ago, I heard those nighttime frogs a-croaking, something which usually ‘normal’ in warmer temperatures. Dry times…

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