Snow-covered trees welcomed visitors to Idyllwild on New Year’s Day.
Photo by JP Crumrine

No weather forecaster predicted an El Niño or even a rainy winter, yet so far, the 2016-17 season has been surprisingly, and gratifyingly, wet.

For the second-consecutive holiday weekend, rain and snow fell on the Hill. While the amounts were not as massive as the Christmas weekend, New Year’s weekend supplied more than an inch of rainfall and another 3 to 5 inches of snow.

Pine Cove received 1.35 inches of rain. With the 3.3 inches from last week, December’s total rain was more than 8 inches, which brought the total rain since July 1, to 14.8 inches. 

The average December rainfall is only 3.4 inches. This year’s total rain is 60 percent greater than the long-term average rainfall of 9.2 inches through the end of December.

Through the end of December 2015, Pine Cove had recorded 13.4 inches and ended the year at 25.2 inches.

Elsewhere, the rain was slightly more. The U.S. Forest Service’s Keenwild Ranger Station had 1.3 inches of rain for a total of 10.3 inches since July 1. 

At the end of December 2015, Keenwild recorded 11 inches but only 10 more in the next six months.

The Idyllwild Fire Station recorded about 0.4 inches of rain from Friday to Saturday.