It’s out there somewhere, but don’t hold your breath for any deluge in YLP, according to some long-range forecasts.

“We’re leaning toward below normal precipitation for pretty much all of California,” said Dan Harty, National Weather Service meteorologist in Hanford.

The NWS office that covers much of the Central Valley focuses on short-term, seven-day forecasts, but he referred to the national Climate Prediction Center, where the latest long-term outlook for central California (as you can see in the map) BELOW normal precipitation for February-March-April.

Taking a look locally….

So, the local figures show at least two things:

• We’re ahead of this point two years ago, after which we got nine inches of rain in Feb-Mar-Apr.
• The winters of 2016-17 and 2018-19 were unusually wet, and in those seasons most of their rain had fallen by February.

Another group is casting a wary eye at the spring-summer forecast: a place called the Southern California Geographic Area Coordination Center. It’s a site that serves regional forestry and fire agencies, and its outlook is DRY.

Its statement for February through May states, in part:

“…we are expecting precipitation to continue be below
normal as a seasonal average this winter. The greatest
precipitation deficits are expected to be over Southern CA due
to the low likelihood of a subtropical moisture connection. The
‘winter rainy season’ will likely end a few weeks earlier than
normal with most areas seeing seasonal rainfall wrap up in mid
or late March. Temperatures should remain a few degrees
above normal this winter.”

So…let’s hope that March, or even April, will bring us another “miracle” to make our streams flow and refill our lakes. If not, well, there’s always next year!

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