It’s been a long time since northern California has seen any significant rain. But today, we broke the streak at 18 days.
As of this writing, Redding has received 0.34 inches of rain with Red Bluff nabbing .03 inches, Oroville getting 0.36 inches and Chico picking up 0.29 inches. Mountain communities fared better, some areas got over an inch of rain and Manzanita Lake near Lassen Peak got 1.2 inches over the past 24 hours. The rain is still falling in the Sierra to our west, so those rainfall amounts will continue to rise.
On the valley floor people were ecstatic to finally see some sort of rain falling from the sky.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Anne Schwenning. “I can’t believe how excited everybody is.”
Katie Neubert agrees. She said she’s been waiting for a long time for this rain.
“I am very excited,” said Neubert, “I’ve been wishing and praying for months to have this rain.”
The rain ran across the roadways and pooled in puddles making for a wet walk across some parking lots but that’s only if you look at the negatives. And there was an abundance of positives.
“I trimmed my rose bushes at home so now I can get the rain,” said Neubert. “Now I can fertilize them.”
Schwenning was just as excited to not have to water her plants now that mother nature is doing it for her.
But despite all the optimism the bleak truth is that California is still in the midst of an extreme drought and 0.34 inches of rain won’t pull us out of the hole.
For Redding to even get back to normal for the water year, we need more than 15 inches of rain to fall from the sky. And things are more desperate in the mountains where the recent Donner Pass snow survey found that the snow pack is lower than in any of the previous driest years, including the winter of 1977.
But that aside, there is more rain in the forecast. Another round of rain is expected for Thursday which is also forecasted to bring almost two feet of snow for the highest peaks of the Sierra.