Spring’s arrival on the Hill is still anxiously awaited. Since Thursday, cool temperatures and precipitation brought more rain and some snow to Hill residents. Next weekend may still seem like late winter rather than the warmth of spring.
The U.S. Forest Service’s Keenwild Ranger Station and the Idyllwild Fire Station recorded nearly 1.5 inches of rain from Thursday to Friday. The total precipitation this rain year (July 1 through June 30) has been 12.65 inches at Keenwild and 19.35 inches at the IFS. Keenwild’s total precipitation is about half the long-term average of 25.5; whereas Idyllwild has recorded about 75 percent of the average.
Precipitaton this year in Idyllwild and Pine Cove, through the middle of May, is more than the 17.1 inches received in 2013-14.
Pine Cove has received significantly more rain. Through Monday, a total of 20.3 inches of rain and 27.75 inches of snow have fallen to the north of the village. Both amounts are greater than last year’s precipitation, but still trailing the long-term average for the fourth consecutive year.
The Town Crier weather site recorded an additional 1.7 inches of precipitation Friday and Saturday mornings, which included rain and moisture from snow.
While this month has been unusually wet, the historic May rainfall has been three-quarters of an inch, which all weather sites have exceeded by nearly twice that amount.
Entering the fourth year of the current drought, the National Weather Service announced last week that El Niño conditions are forming in the Pacific. Consequently, NWS has raised the probability of it continuing through summer to 90 percent and more than 80 percent through the end of 2015.
Normally, El Niño conditions of this strength bring significant rain. And some weather forecasters see a similarity to the 1997-98 period, when 39.4 inches fell on the Hill.