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California Precipitation Trends

June 28, 2016

By Paul Homewood


The Climate Stations website also has long term data for San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

A look at the rainfall stats makes interesting reading:




It is evident that the sort of dry spells seen in recent years are actually pretty commonplace in the longer record.

  1. June 28, 2016 9:36 am

    does it make a difference whether you use rain years or calendar years?

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    June 28, 2016 11:24 am

    It is mostly Desert, what do they expect to happen when they increase their population 10 fold, irrigate millions of acres of new farmland and don’t increase their water storage to suit.
    You get real Man Made (local) Climate Change in the form of a drought.
    But still no where near the 100 year long droughts of the past though.

  3. Broadlands permalink
    June 28, 2016 11:29 am

    California…1898 was the third driest year on record (1895-2015). But, before that?

    “The drought of 1898 was, if possible, more devastating in its effects than previous droughts except that of 1862-1864. The southern half of the state was most severely affected, grasses drying as early as March so that cattlemen were in search of northern ranges early in the year. Lacking grazing facilities or the ability to transfer their herds long distances to better pastures, cattle producers found their stock dying in droves before the end of the summer. Even in the usually humid Pajaro Valley in Monterey County cattlemen resorted to the felling of trees in order to obtain the moss and browse from their branches, Tulare Lake, which had been the succor of thousands of cattle during the drought of 1862-1865, went dry during the summer of 1898.”


  4. RAH permalink
    June 28, 2016 11:51 am

    When talking about water the real problem for S. California is that there is a huge population in that semiarid to arid desert land and a government that has failed to properly prepare for that fact by failing to build enough reservoirs.

    • spetzer86 permalink
      June 28, 2016 1:26 pm

      Failing to build?!? They’re actively removing the ones they have.

  5. June 28, 2016 2:34 pm

    My memories of living in Southern California is drought punctuated by flood. And yes, they need to improve their water management.

    • RAH permalink
      June 28, 2016 11:29 pm

      You forgot to mention earthquakes, wild fires, and mud slides. I swear this Hoosier would think that the state was a constant disaster zone if I hadn’t lived there for a short while.

  6. Theyouk permalink
    June 29, 2016 12:40 am

    You can’t see the obvious inverse relationship between total precipitation and SUV’s? It’s right in front of you! Oh wait…where did it go again? I swear I just had it…maybe in this pocket…. *facepalm*

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