Some welcoming rain fell on the Hill last week. The U.S. Forest Service’s Keenwild Ranger Station recorded nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain between Tuesday and Thursday, July 10 to 12.
That is equal to the long-term average rainfall for July. But in July 2015, more than 2 inches fell, and in July 2013, a major cloudburst arrived and helped to quell the Mountain Fire.
The James Reserve to the north recorded about a quarter of an inch of rain as did the Fern Valley station. The Idyllwild Fire station has no data to report.
From July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, total rainfall recorded at Keenwild was less than 10 inches. During the five-year drought from 2011 through 2016, the year with the least rain was 2013-14, when about 16 inches fell.
As fall approaches, the National Weather Service models are predicting El Niño weather is likely to develop. By winter 2019, the chance of an El Niño pattern is 70 percent.