Could the groundhog be right?

Last weekend, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means there will be six more weeks of winter.

Looks like he could be right by looking at the recent February rain.

The 2013-2014 water year for Northern California did not get off to a great start. Different water years are used for various purposes, but for this reference we are using July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Normal rainfall for this 12 month period is 19.87 inches in Sacramento.

Dark clouds covered the skies on the unofficial end to summer, Labor Day. That day, Sacramento picked up 0.13 inches of rain. It was a nice start to the water year. Another rain event followed in the middle of the month, dropping 0.42 inches of rain. These two rain events left us with 0.55 inches of rain for the month.

Then the Sacramento area waited two months to see another rain drop.

November rain totals ended with a modest 0.82 inches. December started with a cold storm and low snow levels, the only storm to move through the area that month, dropped 0.38 inches of rain.

The Sacramento area then went 52 days without measurable rain. The record streak, which started Dec. 8, 2013 ended on Jan. 28, 2014. At this point an extreme drought was inevitable.

Here is a list of average rainfall for the Sacramento area compared to what we have seen so far:

Month Actual Normal
July 0.00" 0.00"
August: 0.00" 0.03"
September 0.55" 0.35"
October 0.00" 1.05"
November 0.82" 2.43"
December 0.38" 3.48"
January 0.20" 3.97"
February - 3.69"
March - 3.02"
April - 1.30"
May - 0.76"
June - 0.19"


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