The late winter and early spring precipitation continued last week through Saturday night. Almost 2 inches of rain was recorded at the U.S. Forest Service’s Keenwild Ranger Station from Wednesday night through Sunday morning.
The week ahead forecast has rain coming possibly Tuesday and lingering through Friday. The highest probability of more precipitation is after 11 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, through Thursday evening. The rainfall could be heavy during the period. Then the probability tapers off into the weekend.
Total rainfall recorded at Keenwild in the first three weeks of March has been almost 3.9 inches. Since 1946, the average March rain fall has been 4.1 inches.
For the rain year (since Oct. 1), about 8.3 inches of rain has fallen at Keenwild, which means more than half the rain in the past six months has come in the past three weeks.
In 2017, most of the rain and snow fell in January and February. Less than half an inch of rain was received in March.
Longer term, the National Weather Service is predicting the current La Niña pattern will evolve into a neutral situation later this spring. Generally, a La Niña condition brings low rainfall, such as this year. However, the winter of 2017 also was expected to be a La Niña pattern, yet it was a very wet year. Sufficient precipitation fell to eliminate or lower the drought conditions throughout the West.
Despite the likelihood of a neutral trend coming, the NWS three-month precipitation forecast is for below-average precipitation in Southern California. (See accompanying map.)