Meteorologists at the National Weather Center in Eureka say it’s still a bit early to determine if recent weeks of dry weather may result in drought conditions come summer. NWS Meteorologist Matthew Kidwell in Eureka said the water year starts Oct. 1 and recordings at the Crescent City Airport show 13.39 inches of precipitation so far.
“The normal is 23.72 inches, he said. “We were mostly tracking normal until December and then it stopped raining, for the most part.”
“As far as a potential for drought, if the rain returns, this (period) could just be a blip on the RADAR,” he said.
Forecasts predict a measurable amount of rain possibly up to .5 inches Friday night through Saturday.
“We can actually see a couple systems in the distance,” Kidwell said, “with a potential for more rain next week.”
Longer range forecasts
Kidwell referred to the Climate Prediction Center’s first quarter forecast which predicted above normal precipitation for January, ranging from Humboldt Bay north.
Kidwell explained Humboldt and Del Norte County fall in a transitional range between yearly weather patterns.
“We’re in a La Nina year,” he said, “but in Crescent City that doesn’t say much. In the Pacific Northwest, there are increased odds of being above normal precipitation.”
Kidwell said in La Nina years, the southern end of the Pacific Coast tends to be dryer and the northern half wetter than normal.
“In an El Nino year, it’s just the reverse,” he said, “but we’re right in that transition zone between the two.”