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Cold and damp weather dominates the month of May

Dale Knutsen
Special to Feather Publishing
6/6/2011

The year of the long winter is continuing in the Lake Almanor Basin. After April showers there was hope for May flowers, but the spring plant growth was slowed down by more snow in May.

There have now been seven consecutive months with measurable snowfall. And this year’s March through May period was the snowiest spring we experienced for at least the past decade.

Getting down to numbers, the west shore received 8 inches of snow during May, bringing our season total to 330 inches (27.5 feet), or 244 percent of average to this point.

Between the water content of that snow and the rain received in May, the total precipitation for the season as measured at the Prattville monitoring site now stands at 44.63 inches, or 137 percent of average.

Fortunately, the low temperatures have produced a relatively slow snowmelt, leading to steady but manageable runoff in nearby streams and rivers.

June is the final month of the customary “water year.” During most years June is snow-free, but all bets are off this season.

On average, the Almanor Basin typically receives a little less than an inch of rain in June.

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