Last week’s, rainstorms brought more than 4 inches of precipitation to the Hill. Keenwild Ranger Station recorded 4.3 inches of rain since Thursday, which brings the total rain since July 1 to 11.8 inches.
George Tate reported that Pine Cove received 5 inches of rain, bringing its rain year total to 13.04 inches. Also, about 2 inches of snow fell in Pine Cove and the higher elevations of Fern Valley. The Vista Grande area recorded 5.5 inches of rain during the storms.
Despite the abundance of recent precipitation, the total is only 63 percent of the normal long-term rainfall from July 1 until March, which is 18.7 inches.
Historically, about 7 inches of rain falls during the remaining four months of the rain year (July 1 through June 30). If that occurs this year, the rainfall here would still be 8 inches less than normal, which would be the third-consecutive year of below-normal rain.
The Accuweather.com extended forecast next sees the chance of rain in nearly two weeks — March 22.
Local water district managers were disappointed with the rainfall amounts. While all were glad to have the volume extended over several days, they acknowledged that it was not sufficient to overcome nearly three years of drought.
“The streams are still not running much. Tahquitz Creek is still completely dry,” noted Fern Valley Water District General Manager Steve Erler. “When the temperatures rise later this week, I hope we’ll get some stream flow.”
“The past storm was good moisture, unfortunately, it was the only one we’ve had this winter,” said Pine Cove Water District General Manager Jerry Holldber.
While he has no problem keeping PCWD’s wells full, he will continue to monitor them. “I’m concerned about the future because of the lack of water this year,” Holldber said. “That’s why there will be further discussion at next week’s meeting [10 a.m. Wednesday, March 12] about the possibility of moving into [Water Emergency] Stage 1.”
“It isn’t sufficient enough to deal with the drought conditions,” confirmed new Idyllwild Water District General Manager Tom Lynch. He said the bottom of Foster Lake is now a puddle. (See photo) While the weather was beneficial for the district, the associated power outages created small problems, but he said the IWD staff responded to them quickly and prevented problems at the treatment and other district facilities.
In other In Other Southern California areas, the National Weather Service reported that Garner Valley received 3.2 inches of rain and Anza saw 2.4 inches during these storms. Lake Arrowhead had nearly 9 inches of rain and Palomar Mountain got 8.8 inches, according to the NWS.
Sunny days returned Monday. As temperatures rose, the NWS forecasts days in the 70s for the end of the week
Power outages on the Hill accompanied the arrival of the storms. The first occurred midday Thursday. Then Friday, electricity died from Garner Valley to north of Pine Cove. It was gradually restored area by area. The longest outage was for about three hours in Pine Cove and north.
Southern California Edison worked hard to maintain the power, but had no specific explanation for the outage’s cause, according to David Song, SCE media contact. “It’s hard to say what the cause was. It could be a tree branch that by the time the crew arrives the wind blows it away. With weather like this, there are so many variables.”
Of course, the lack of electricity was an opportunity, rather than disruption, for social media. In response to Publisher Becky Clark’s inquiry about the status of electricity, one gentleman responded, “Had to talk to the wife for almost an hour... Thank GOD I’m ‘online’ again!!!!”