This Week’s Rain Doesn’t Make up for Dry Winter

Though more rain is coming, San Francisco saw almost half as much rain this year than last year.

Though rain fell this season to lightly bathe the Bay Area’s oily roads and send skiers toward the slopes, we’re not quite where we should be.

Even as weekend rainfall approaches with another set of rainy days brewing up for next week, San Francisco’s rainfall this year is still at 57 percent of normal, according to National Weather Service spokesperson Steve Anderson. 

Downtown San Francisco saw 11.04 inches of rain so far this winter compared to the typical 19.51 inches. At this time last year, we saw 27.78 inches thanks to a particularly wet winter, according to Anderson.

Compared to 2014, California’s lowest rainfall year since the 1920s, San Francisco looks much better. By the end of March 2014, downtown San Francisco collected 10.48 inches of rain since the beginning of rain year in October. The city surpassed that this year but not by much.

“It’s nothing to be alarmed about, it’s not like we’re going into a drought at all,” Anderson says.

The National Weather Service forecast shows rain for Thursday and Friday with a possibility of showers on Saturday. Another system is expected to hit San Francisco next week, according to Anderson, who calls this year’s rainfall “decent to normal.”

“We’re certainly not going to get to normal at this rate for this time of the season,” Anderson says. “But no, it’s nothing to worry about, we had a very high rain year last year and the systems are cold enough to where they are packing up snow in the Sierras.”

As SF Weekly previously reported, the first day of March saw more rain than the entire month of February. Good news for Tahoe-bound skiers and snowboarders, but not enough of a late-season push to boost the statewide snowpack average.

After the early March storms, the Natural resources Conservation Service told the Tahoe Daily Tribune that “4-5 more storms just as big as last week’s would be needed to boost snowpack averages to normal by April 1.

El Niño may have sucked other parts of the world dry to get us out of a drought, but it’s not likely to save us again.

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