A FEW SHOWERS THRU WEDNESDAY
We have picked up another quarter inch in the Bakersfield rain gauge since Sunday. The total is now 1.46" for February and 7.25" for the rain year. This has ensured that February will be another above average month for Bakersfield. Normal for the month is 1.24" (which is the wettest month of the year- climatologicallly).
Today we had .01" a little before 4 AM. It was the 10th rain day for February (normal is 7) and the 37th rain day for the rain year (normal for the rain year which runs through the end of June is 39 days). The official drought ended last Thursday, according to the Drought Monitor. We are still in an "abnormally dry" phase, but this is post-drought. With more rain in the offiing, plenty of surface water, well above normal snowpack and rising ground water levels- the crisis is over.
I have run into a fair amount of push back on this issue. The drought is "NOT" over, they say. It is as if I should not report the findings. My recommendation is, and always has been, to continue conserving so that ground water reserves build up. Living in a desert as we do, it is prundent to be water wise- always. But again, the drought as we have known it is over- according to measurements and a simple glance at the hydrologic realities. The snowpack is at about 200% of normal and well above the April norms. I noted Mammoth Mountain has a 30-foot base of snow, which will be producing meltwater well into August.
A wet pattern persists, although the bulk of heavy rain appears to be staying to our north through the next several days. A lingering slight chance for showers will hold in the South Valley through Wednesday. Best chance for rain and snow down to about 4,000' will be in the mountains. The most notable aspect of our weather should be a cooling trend set for Wednesday and beyond when a significant trough pushes through. There could be an issue on the Grapevine Wednesday, but it appears to be marginal at best right now.
Following dry weather Thursday through most of Saturday, we could be back to our wet ways. A fairly impressive looking atmospheric river is back on our coming attractions list for next Sunday. Stay tuned.
Chief Meteorologist MILES MUZIO- 8:17 PM February 20, 2017
Today's Record Temperatures