The echoes of people singing “rain, rain, go away, come again another day” during our Thanksgiving and the winter holidays has long faded. Following the wet start to our “rainy season,” 2020 has started out exceptionally dry. Southern California tends to get a significant amount of our winter rain totals during the months of January and February. Without any major storm events expected for the remainder of February, many locations throughout Southern California will be nearing the driest combined January and February on record. As shown in the map below, the percent of average precipitation for the last 30 days shows California and the Southwest are well below average. And the following table prepared by the Los Angeles office of the National Weather Service shows the meager 2020 rainfall totals for stations throughout Southern California.
What to expect in March?
The current long range forecasts don’t indicate an end to the dry start of 2020. The one-month and three month temperature and precipitation outlooks shown below from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center generally favor above-average temperatures and below normal precipitation in California for March and beyond. Mark your calendars, March 1 is the start of meteorological spring!
A brief history of the National Weather Service
On Sunday, February 9, the National Weather Service celebrated its 150th Birthday! On that date in 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a Joint Resolution of Congress directing the Secretary of War to "provide for taking meteorological observations at the military stations in the interior of the continent, and at other points in the States and Territories...and for giving notice on the northern lakes and on the seacoast, by magnetic telegraph and marine signals, of the approach and force of storms." The service would pass to civilian control in 1891, becoming the Weather Bureau under the Dept. of Agriculture; then under the Dept. of Commerce in 1940, and became the National Weather Service when NOAA was organized in 1970. The National Weather Service has continued to focus on their fundamental mission: protect lives and property and enhance the nation’s economy. To put this anniversary into perspective:
Alta Environmental (an NV5 Company) is a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador (WRN) with the NOAA. As a WRN Ambassador, Alta supports NOAA’s initiatives to inspire others to be better informed and prepared, helping to minimize or avoid the impacts of natural disasters by educating employees and the business community on workplace preparedness. More information about WRN and weather preparedness can be found at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/.