The 2016 precipitation year is off to a promising start with slightly above average precipitation, however, prior to any celebration, Turlock Irrigation District utility analyst Jason Carkeet was quick to point out that there is “still a lot of year left.”
“I would say that we’re off to a good start, but it is just that—a start,” said Carkeet.
According to Carkeet, who presented his weekly water report on Tuesday, the Tuolumne River Watershed experienced a “pretty decent” 2.83 inches of precipitation for December thus far due to storms that covered the region over the past couple weeks.
This total comes 3.07 inches below the historical average of 5.90 inches of precipitation for the entire month of December. Last year, the month of December nearly met the average with 5.57 inches.
“We’ve had slightly above average precipitation in the watershed to date, and we may stay at or near average by the end of December,” said Carkeet. “However, we will need about 125 percent of average precipitation before we can begin to expect anything near average run off.”
While September fell short of its historical average of 0.59 inches of precipitation with only 0.05 inches of rainfall, both October and November surpassed their historical averages by 0.26 inches and 0.91 inches, respectively.
With this total, accumulated precipitation in the Tuolumne River Watershed from September to Dec. 14 now stands at 10.18 inches, or 108.5 percent of the historical average of 12.62 inches for this date.
This is a refreshing change from last year’s report at this time, which revealed all four months that began the precipitation year failed to meet their historical averages. The year would ultimately wrap up with only 20.91 inches of rainfall, a total that came in as little more than half of the historical average at the time of 36.41 inches.
The National Weather Service forecast the return of precipitation to the region as early as today after 4 p.m. with a 30 percent chance of rain. The likelihood is expected to increase after 10 p.m. with an 80 percent chance of rain. New precipitation amounts could be between a tenth and a quart of an inch.
The Weather Service predicts that this rain will continue into Saturday up until 10 a.m., with showers between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. forecast at 80 percent. There is also a 30 percent chance of showers before 10 a.m. on Saturday night. Similar to Friday, new precipitation amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch are possible.
Starting Sunday night, there is a 30 percent chance of showers. The following week is also predicted to have a chance of showers from Monday through Christmas Eve.