Saturday, October 29, 2016

Banner October Rainfall in Sacramento

So far at Sacramento Executive Airport, 3.59 inches of rain have fallen in October, more than any other October since 1941, except the 7.51 inches that fell in October, 1962. Only January and February are typically wetter than this month has been.

The story is the same even when comparing Sac Exec's 3.59 inches with data gathered at the older monitoring site for Sacramento (since 1849 - these days, at a site near Sac State). 2016 is the fourth wettest October on record. Only the years 1962 (6.85"), 1889 (6.02"), and 1899 (4.46") have been wetter. 2016 slightly-exceeds 1876 (3.45").

The radical climatic swing of the last few years appears to be moderating. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) abruptly dropped in July, and seems to have stabilized at nearly-neutral levels. Indeed, since July near the California coast, Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are now only slightly above average. Moderation is the new black.

Since 2011, extreme drought placed California under a great deal of stress. So far, relief has focused mostly on northern California. Getting back to more-normal rainfall will remove a lot of worries. (Of course, we could swing toward floods too, raising new worries, but one thing at a time.)

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