The deluge of rain last season may not have broken 100 inches in Crescent City, but it came close.
At 95.58 inches, the 2016-17 water year was the 10th wettest on record, said National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Carroll. The amount of precipitation Crescent City received was 31.55 inches above normal and was roughly 29 inches greater than the 2015-16, he said.
The 2016-17 water year began Oct. 1, 2016 and ended Saturday.
“Right above this particular water year it looks like it was 1920 through 1921 season where there were 96.43 inches of rain,” Carroll said. “The season that was directly below this last season was the 1973 through 1974 season and that was 93.81 inches.”
The wettest year on record is the 1903-04 season when Crescent City saw 110.08 inches of rain, Carroll said. According to the National Weather Service’s records, which go back to 1894, there were four years that saw more than 100 inches of precipitation, Carroll said.
“It looks like there were several months that had over 10 inches of rain,” Carroll said, adding that 18.68 inches of rain fell in October 2016. “That was right at the beginning of the rainy season. In fact, interestingly, the previous month, which was September of last year, there was only a trace of rain. It just tells you how fast it ramps up to being really wet.”
More than a foot of rain fell in the Crescent City area in November and December 2016 and January and February 2017, Carroll said. March 2017 saw slightly more than 10 inches of rain. Nearly 9 inches of rain fell in April 2017. May received 1.8 inches of rain and June received 1.64 inches, Carroll said.
“July is really the month it dropped off to nothing,” he said. “(There was) 0 inches for the entire month of July.”
However, it’s not clear whether Crescent City residents should batten down the hatches this winter. According to Carroll, the outlooks generated by the Climate Prediction Center are calling for equal chances of above normal or below normal rain for October, November and December. Oregon, Washington and Idaho may have a better chance of receiving above normal precipitation, Carroll said.
The Climate Prediction Center is still forecasting a La Niña this winter, but whether that means Crescent City will receive more or less rain is still unknown, Carroll said.
“There are better chances of above normal rainfall up toward Washington and into the Northern Rockies, but around here it’s basically even chances of wetter (or) dryer or near-normal,” he said.
Last season’s rain helped bring Northern California out of a multi-year drought. According to Carroll, Northern California remains out of drought conditions.
“Down state they do still have a little bit of a lingering drought, which is either abnormally dry or moderate drought,” he said. “Northern California is out of the drought.”
Temperatures today are expected to be above normal and the dry windy conditions have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for elevations above 500 feet in the interior North Coast counties, according to Carroll. The red flag warning is expected to remain in effect until 5 p.m. today.
For more information about the weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka.
Reach Jessica Cejnar at email@example.com.