U.S. Water News Online
SACRAMENTO -- The capital region is on course for a record
low rainfall in January, breaking a mark set more than 100 years ago.
Just .07 inches of rain has fallen so far this month. That's far
short of the usual 4.18 inches. The current low record is 0.15 inches
of moisture -- and that was in 1889.
Only a slight chance of rain is in the forecast for the rest of
"Our record is in serious jeopardy," said Jim Mathews, a
meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Sacramento office.
A high pressure ridge has been blocking storms from reaching
Northern California. A storm over the Pacific could punch through
this weekend, but it isn't likely to result in measurable
The low snow has Sierra Nevada ski areas relying more on
snowmaking and snow grooming to comb over existing natural and
man-made snow on balding slopes.
California also relies on its Sierra snowpack for much of its
summer water supply. Despite the scant moisture, water managers say
reservoirs are full and the groundwater has been replenished by
recent wet years.
State hydrologist Maurice Roos said the average reservoir storage
on Dec. 31 was 119 percent of normal.
So far this winter, the jet stream that normally brings rain and
snow to California is sending the moisture north and east. That has
led to substantial rain and snow in Washington and Oregon, and
repeated snowstorms in Colorado.
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