Winter returned last week, not just a brief Mother’s Day snow, but several days of near-freezing temperatures, which resulted in fireplace smoke in the sky and thermostats in overtime.
Spring temperatures were driven into hiding Monday through Wednesday, as the 30s and 40s were the daytime highs.
Some precipitation accompanied the winter climate, but the 2017-18 precipitation still is significantly less than a year ago.
Last week, the U.S. Forest Service’s Keenwild Ranger Station recorded about 0.6 inches of rain, which bought the total since July 1, 2017, to 9.74 inches, the least rain in 12 months in more than a decade. During the five-year drought, from 2011 through 2015, the least rainfall year was 2013-14, when Keenwild recorded 15.9 inches, nearly 60 percent more than this winter.
The long-term average rainfall on the Hill is 25.7 inches and since 2005, the average rain has been 20 inches, twice the rain this year. Through the end of April, the Hill has historically received about 25 inches of rain.
However, the Idyllwild Fire Station recorded an inch of snow during winter’s resumption. While the coldest temperatures were farther north, and 2 to 5 inches of snow fell on the northern side of Interstate 10, Idyllwild’s inch was remarkable for this time of the year.