Del Norte may receive a brief smattering of showers Wednesday not unlike the .12 to .2 inches that fell Sunday, according to National Weather Service forecasters.
A quarter of an inch to half an inch of rain is expected to fall on the coast Wednesday with higher amounts in the mountains, said NWS meteorologist Richard Lam. Things will dry out Thursday and Friday, but another “pretty good system” from the north could bring at least half an inch of precipitation to the region during the weekend, he said.
Since these systems are coming from the north, Lam said they’re not expected to have a lot of moisture.
“We’re trending to (be) a little bit wetter than before, but we’re still kind of dry,” he said. “They’re colder systems so they don’t carry as much moisture. Those are the patterns we’ll be seeing for the next one to two weeks.”
Del Norte County has received significantly less rain since the water year began in October compared to last year. As of Sunday, Del Norte has 24.76 inches of rain since October, Lam said. By this time last year, the area saw 64.42 inches of precipitation, he said.
By the time the water year ended on Sept. 30, 2017, Crescent City received 95.58 inches of rain, making 2016-17 the 10th wettest on record. The amount of precipitation Crescent City received last year was 31.55 inches above normal.
Crescent City is currently 70 percent of normal, according to Lam. But, he said, that could change.
“If we get a big rainstorm it can wipe out that deficit and we can go back to normal,” he said, adding Crescent City only received 7.76 inches of rain for the 2013-14 water year up to Feb. 11.
Weather forecasters are concerned fire season during summer may be bad if the dry trend continues, Lam said. He noted the amount of snowfall in the mountains is less than normal and much less than last year. A robust amount of snow during the winter can help keep things moist during the summer, Lam said.
“Right now we’re still a little bit too early to talk about drought,” said Lam who had been meeting with water managers and other NWS officials Monday on the potential for drought conditions. “Reservoirs are still running good even though we didn’t have too much rainfall this February. It’s still too early to tell. If we get a big rain storm, we will be back to normal again.”