Time to start worrying about another drought?
Precipitation levels in most major California cities are below average for this time of year.
The Sierra Nevada snowpack is just 37 percent of normal.
With no rain or snow in the immediate National Weather Service forecast, it looks like December will be “kind of a bust, for the first of our three big months of precipitation,” said State Climatologist Michael Anderson.
Thanks to a wetter-than-usual November, total precipitation in Northern California is actually close to average for this time of year.
Most of Northern California’s reservoirs, which are critical to keeping water flowing to cities and farms across the state during spring, summer and fall, are in good shape because of last winter’s record-breaking rain and snow.
Just a few of these storms, sometimes called “horizontal hurricanes,” can fill the state’s reservoirs, blanket the Sierra Nevada with snow and make the difference between a dry winter and a wet one.
A series of atmospheric rivers last winter produced the wettest season on record in Northern California, culminating with Gov.
The state Department of Water Resources’ closely-watched 8-station index, a series of gauges across the northern Sierra, has recorded 12.3 inches of rain and snow, or 94 percent of average.
“We just need more snow at lower elevations to get things going,” Royal Gorge officials said on the resort’s website.
The U.S. Forest Service this week said that an additional 27 million trees, mostly conifers such as pines and firs, have died in California since November 2016.