California Could be Headed for a Dry Year in 2018

March 17, 2018 10:00 am · 41 comments

(by Janis Mara) – Much less rainfall than normal has fallen in the last five months in the San Francisco Bay Area, and while there is no immediate danger of drought, the area and the state could see a dry year in 2018, weather experts said today.

From Oct. 1, 2017 through March 15, 2018, 10.06 inches of rain fell at San Francisco International Airport. The normal amount is 17.28 inches, so rainfall is only 58 percent of normal, according to the National Weather Service.

At the Oakland Airport, in the same five-month period, 10.11 inches of rain fell, only 60 percent of normal. At San Jose International Airport, 6.45 inches of rain fell during the five-month period, 51 percent of normal, weather officials said.

Statewide precipitation is down too.

On the other hand, reservoirs, another important source of water, are at very near or above theirhistorical averages in the Bay Area and statewide, according to Doug Carlson, a spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources.

While this is encouraging, some other signs are ominous, Carlson said.

“The snowpack is only at 40 percent of what one would normally find of the water in the snow,” Carlson said.

As the snow melts, it feeds the reservoirs, providing about 30 percent of California’s water, so “that is a piece of bad news,” he said. “This is reason for concern.”

The years 2012 through 2016 were drought years, while last year was a wet year.

“It could be that 2018 could be a dry year,” Carlson said.

The Man March 17, 2018 at 10:09 AM

These weather guessers need to get a new crystal ball, we could have snow in July, you people are not in charge.

Badge1104 March 17, 2018 at 1:51 PM

Exactly. The rain will end up catching up this year. California always has gone through these elliptical cycles. Only recently has such a big fuss and panic been made over them.

Chicken Little March 17, 2018 at 10:12 AM

I’m shocked.

Sick of it March 17, 2018 at 10:28 AM

And they keep building more and more housing. There is a limit on what can be supported by the natural environment.

Old Timer March 17, 2018 at 10:29 AM

We could have above normal rainfall and they would still tell us we have a shortage. Yet they continue to build housing.No new reservoirs are being built. Its all a scam.

It's Me March 17, 2018 at 12:20 PM


Cup of Joe March 17, 2018 at 10:34 AM

California could also fall in the ocean. There is no drought in Ncal because we lose our water to Socal. Keep the water here and no drought, let Socal figure out THEIR drought problem

ConcordMike March 17, 2018 at 12:26 PM

Should be a building moratorium in SoCal until they can figure out a water source. Perhaps pipe it in from Mexico, under the wall. Hah!
Desalination plants also need to be implemented in SoCal.

Serious? March 17, 2018 at 9:13 PM

Pipe in water from Mexico? Don’t you know they are always telling people to avoid drinking water in Mexico! But, So Cal is basically all Mexican nationals now, so they should be used to it. It probably won;t give them the squirts!

Pyrrhus March 19, 2018 at 10:29 AM

With that kind of thinking, the people north of us should be hording the water for themselves since we are also expanding so much. Who really owns the water? The answer is, all of us, and we all need to work together and find solutions.

We need to improve efficiency of water use in both the home but more importantly in the industrial and farming sectors. Improve our use of treatable waste water. use desalination plants (this needs to be limited to areas that makes sense as it damages the environment as well as being expensive), leveraging storm water, groundwater remediation, and of course building new reservoirs that have the least impact on the enviornment

Mutts March 17, 2018 at 10:40 AM

Doom and gloom, as usual.

NunYa March 17, 2018 at 11:30 AM

As well expect yet another temporary water tax increase…

Did the previous one ever go away?

MoJo March 17, 2018 at 10:42 AM

Weather is cyclical. We don’t have a water problem in California. We have a water management problem. 40 million people with half of them living in a desert is an issue. Farmers growing water hungry crops is an issue. Inability to move forward with water storage solutions, aka dams is an issue. What we need is a lot less people, smarter farming and better management of the resources and these severe weather cycles will be less problematic.

Badge1104 March 17, 2018 at 1:47 PM

It is said that in last year’s torrential rains, that over two years supply of water flushed out through the Golden Gate. Had we had an extra damn we would never have water troubles again. But oh no, the environmentalist would never let us build a new dam. they’d rather see the water wasted and then blame farmers and homeowners

Aspirin March 17, 2018 at 7:28 PM

Dams don’t work without water.

Lack of rainfall and snow is the problem.

Silva March 17, 2018 at 11:11 AM

So, to paraphrase; Don’t say they didn’t warn you when the bill goes up! Again!

MoJo March 17, 2018 at 11:13 AM

This just in: Don Pedro Reservoir and New Melones are dumping water because they are near capacity and it’s still raining and snowing in the Sierra. Again- WATER MANAGEMENT ISSUES!

Pops March 17, 2018 at 11:28 AM

“We’ll never make it!”

Gullivers Travels

NunYa March 17, 2018 at 11:29 AM

Huh? Maybe they should look out the window, maybe check out the snow pack now…

As well part of this so called problem was created by the Democrat’s stupid-majority.

Serious? March 17, 2018 at 9:15 PM

The liberal agenda is to control us.

j March 17, 2018 at 11:36 AM

it is all B.S….the one and only problem no water storage and none on the horizon….thank you goes to he democrats for saving us(sarcasm)

J A March 17, 2018 at 12:34 PM

20 thousand more units coming around BART stations. Oakland has them under construction near MacArthur BART. So get use to conserving.

NunYa March 17, 2018 at 4:08 PM

We should all remember this when they call a drought ALERT! We should be able to call a too many homes being built ALERT!

Dawg March 17, 2018 at 12:38 PM

What people need to realize is, California is 70 percent desert. The Central Valley, Southern California and the south eastern parts of the state is all desert.
The thing is, California has experienced above average rainfall during the last 80 years, now we are returning back to normal.

Frank March 18, 2018 at 6:56 PM

You are correct. Most of California is arid. The problem is not a lack of water but a lack of sufficient storage for the water we get. The rainfall in California has actually increased over the past 100 years, the demand for water has increased at a higher rate.

Brig March 17, 2018 at 12:52 PM

It just rained so hard water came in threw our kitchen window and the sliding glass door.

Kirkwood March 17, 2018 at 1:24 PM

Through decades past, our rainfall cycle was such that the driest year was followed by the wettest year beginning the next cycle, with each year being a little drier than the previous and about the 7th year (give or take a year) being the driest, and the cycle repeats. However, this last cycle stretched out to 10 years, then a statistical average year followed by an exceptionally wet year. This year, the dry Jan, Feb anomalies has thrown a monkey wrench into the weather machinery as statistically they have been the wettest months.

Just be patient March 17, 2018 at 1:45 PM

It appears we may be in the midst of a March miracle (and hopefully an April miracle(. Too early to tell, but too early to be pessimistic.

Venice March 17, 2018 at 2:30 PM


CSS March 17, 2018 at 3:55 PM

BS. I’ll stop watering my lawn when they stop wasting water for growing pot.

Water Dude. March 17, 2018 at 4:01 PM

water storage tanks for more homes. build more lakes, reservoirs ect. not to hard to figure out. we got bullet train $$$$$. water is more important. ya think. ,

Aspirin March 17, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Drain the swimming pools in S. Calif. and pipe the water into reservoirs.

Nature Rules! March 17, 2018 at 10:39 PM

Don’t need the pipes. The water starts its journey to wasteful LA in OUR reservoirs. They dam OUR rivers and those fools waste it.

Foonman March 17, 2018 at 8:33 PM

So I moved here 50 years ago and bought a house planted shrubs and a lawn. Stop the building permits. That’s a good start.

Whoe Jim March 17, 2018 at 8:57 PM

One must remember the votes given to our incumbent Governor, on proposition 1 which was well over 7.5 billion dollars to supposedly upgrade our water issues towards the end of our last 5 year drought. The bait and switch was successful. Very ironic however that there is now over a billion and half dollars in budget surplus….let me guess he wants it to help pay for his delta tunnels to water his lawn for his retirement in L.A. In addition to a down payment for the 80 billion dollar and counting bullet train to ad to his legacy……

Nature Rules! March 17, 2018 at 10:38 PM

Again I have to say that the rainfall totals in the Bay Area are meaningless for most of us. Only San Jose and Marin County need good rainfall totals to get thru the dry summer; the rest of us rely on water from the Siskiyous, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada. Rain helps the foothill reservoirs fill while a decent snowpack fills the higher elevation reservoirs and also acts as a kind of storage reservoir in its own right. Rain east of Sacramento and snow above Placerville is what most of us need!

Cyco Miko March 17, 2018 at 11:31 PM

Next time there is a drought, I’m not conserving, since that will raise my water bills.

Big Rob March 18, 2018 at 12:42 PM

You could’ve fooled me. I work outdoors, and trust me, I’ve seen enough rain these last couple of weeks. Enough to wash all these forecasters down the stream!!

Frank March 18, 2018 at 6:53 PM

Rather than use averages it would be more honest to use the median rain fall. There is a lot of variation in rainfall from year to year in California that is hidden in an average. If you are going to use an average at least give the standard deviation so people can see the range of normal which is one standard deviation on each side of the average.

FromClayton March 18, 2018 at 7:56 PM

How many water storage solutions could we build with $100Billion dollars? Orrrrrrrrrr we could build a train instead.

Whatever March 20, 2018 at 12:49 PM

My wife and I still quote one of the weather persons on TV from many years ago when it started to rain during a drought year. “Although this rain seems like it’s good, it’s actually making the drought worse”.

alrighty then.

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