Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Western Rainy Season Starts Off With A Bang, Which Is Great News For Drought

Expected precipitation for the next seven days shows some rain
for most of California, with heavy rain in the northern
part of the state. Good rains - over an inch of it -
are likely in the Northeast, too, where it is needed. 
The West Coast rainy season has started out strong, which is a good thing because most of the region has been experiencing drought.

Drought or abnormally dry conditions that developed in Washington and Oregon over the summer have pretty much been all erased by a series of very wet Pacific storms that have crashed ashore in the past couple of weeks, and more is coming.  

The change in Washington State has been dramatic.

The U.S. Drought Monitor said 84 percent of that state was abnormally dry or in drought on Oct 11. As of October 18, only a little less than 8 percent of Washington State was abnormally dry, and as noted, more rain is coming.

Drought-weary California is getting into the act, too, but nobody is under the illusion the drought there will be erased any time soon.

Except in the northwest corner of California that is. In nearly 8 percent of the state, all in the northwest corner, the drought is over, says the U.S. Drought Monitor. That isn't much of California, but it's the most real estate in California that is drought-free since March, 2013.
Most of California is still in drought, with extreme
drought in central areas. But recent rains have been
slightly eroding the scope of the drought.  

Coastal northwestern California is in for a lot more rain this week, too. Maybe a foot of it in some places, which could lead to local floods and mudslides.

Some rain will likely extend all the way south in California almost to San Diego this week.

There won't be all that much rain south of San Francisco, but it will rain, and anything is welcome, especially in central California, which is still under extreme drought.

There's no way to tell if this good start to California's rainy season will extend through the winter. (Some indications are it won't)  

So there's no reason yet to celebrate the end of California's long, punishing drought, but every raindrop that falls, every snowflake that comes down in the state's higher elevations, is a gift.

Keep it coming.

Meanwhile, in the Northeast, which got some good drought denting rains and snows over the weekend, we're still expecting a fairly wet storm later Thursday and Friday, which will only help some more.

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