Santa Paula inching closer to year’s historical rainfall average - already

December 31, 2010
Santa Paula News

With the latest storm another 0.47 inches of rain fell on Santa Paula Wednesday, bringing the total since October - when the rain season officially starts - up to 17.30 inches, according to

Not bad for being only about halfway through the rainy season and on the heels of a three-year-long drought, especially as Santa Paula’s average annual rainfall is 18.41 inches. And February is historically the wettest month with rainfall of about 4.65 inches locally.

Santa Paula, surrounded by agriculture, and which relies primarily on groundwater, has reason to celebrate the wet weather, but other areas of Southern California are far more thankful. The weather left one of the wettest Decembers on record; in Los Angeles December 2010 was wetter than December 1889, the last time so much rain fell in the region.

But it’s the Sierra mountain snow pack that is being celebrated, as it is now projected that next spring’s water supply is about twice the normal size for this time of the year, which might be good news to Angelenos who have been under water rationing. And more rain will signal the end of the drought, almost a sure thing, as the rainiest months are January, February and March.

That doesn’t mean Mother Nature might not turn off the spigot, leading to an arid winter. But Southern California will always have to import water to serve its 20 million residents, as even a good rain year brings enough of the wet stuff to supply four million residents.

There is a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain forecast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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