Much needed rain fell over the Hill Saturday afternoon and evening. The amounts ranged from slightly more than an inch at the U.S. Forest Service’s Keenwild Fire Station to almost 2 inches at the Idyllwild Fire Station.
Pine Cove recorded 1.2 inches and the newly installed rain gauge at the Idyllwild Town Crier collected nearly 1.75 inches from Friday through Sunday morning.
Hail fell in portions of Idyllwild. “We were worried about the skylights,” said Idyllwild Fire Capt.Mark LaMont. He added that two Pacific Crest Trail hikers were brought into the station to warm up from the temperature drop.
While these showers offer temporary relief from the drought and wildfire threats, total rainfall remains substantially below the historic amounts (recorded at the Idyllwild Fire Station) for April as well as for the rain year, from July 1 through June 30.
At the Fire Station, 2.2 inches have been recorded this month, which is slightly more than the long-term average for April of nearly 2 inches. Keenwild has recorded 1.1 inches of rain during April and Pine Cove has received about 1.4 inches this month, also less than the April average.
From July through April, the historic average is about 24.77 inches and the Hill has received less than 11 inches at Keenwild and less than 18 in Idyllwild and Pine Cove. The 2014-15 rain year will be the fourth consecutive year with below-average rain and the ninth in the past 10 years.
The three-month forecast issued April 16 projects even chances for either above or below normal precipitation through July.
However, more relief may arrive this fall. The National Weather Service recently announced that El Niño conditions have been established and the chances of El Niño remaining through autumn of 2015 are greater than 60 percent.