California – Record Breaking Winter
In previous posts this past winter we discussed on close areas of California were getting to smashing long standing precipitation records. Over the past week, records have been set for the water year of 2016-2017, especially in the Northern Sierras.
The chart below highlights current and past precipitation trends in the Northern Sierras. Last week, the total precipitation in the Northern Sierras since October 2016, surpassed 90 inches, breaking the previous record of 88.5 inches set back in the water year of 1982-1983. Breaking the record is remarkable, however, even more remarkable is the fact there are 4.5 months left in the water year so the total will go higher.
The average water year precipitation in the Northern Sierras is 50 inches, therefore, precipitation this year is almost a mind boggling 200 percent of normal!
In addition to California getting big precipitation, many other western areas have had very impressive precipitation since fall.
The blue areas on the graphic below show areas receiving 3.5 to over 10 inches of above normal precipitation since the middle of December. The states of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and portions of Colorado, Utah and Arizona experienced much above normal precipitation.
With the second half of April still to go along with the normally wet month of May right around the corner, many of the blue areas will likely add to their above normal totals.