This weekend’s rainfall was a welcomed event as between 1.3 inches and 2 inches fell on an arid Hill.
Historically, February is the second wettest month of the year. The long-term average rainfall is about 4.5 inches in February. However, the rain this Sunday was the only precipitation to fall on the Hill this year.
The U.S. Forest Service’s Keenwild Ranger Station recorded 1.3 inches of rain, the Idyllwild Fire Station received 1.6 inches of rain and about 0.1 inch of snow, and Pine Cove received about 2 inches of rain and another 2 inches of snow, according to George Tate who officially records Pine Cove weather.
Consequently, we remain significantly below the long-term average for this point in the rainfall year (July 1 through June 30). Pine Cove is almost 4 inches, or 20 percent, below its average rainfall through February. In Idyllwild, the rainfall since July 1 has totaled 13.3 inches, which is nearly 5.3 inches below the long-term average.
On Thursday, Feb. 19, the National Weather Service modified its three-month precipitation forecast for Southern California from above average to average.
So the chances of catching up to the long-term average has declined. And the chance of an El Niño event in late spring is 50 to 60 percent.