By Dale Knutsen
Special to Plumas News
The 5 second summary: dry and warm. Those are the highlights (or lowlights) from the Lake Almanor basin for the month of February. Even though February is typically a wet and cold month, this year only 2 inches of snowfall was recorded on the west shore and the tiny amount of rainfall added very little to the total.
By the end of the month, our seasonal snowfall accumulation came to 86.5 inches, which is 88 percent of the long-term average for this point in the year. Our very wet October and December brought an extraordinary amount of water to the basin but a dry January and now February has allowed the total accumulation to decline to near average for the season. The Prattville monitoring site recorded only 0.33 inch of water content during February, bringing our season accumulation to 23.53 inches (102 percent of the long-term average).
The temperature monitoring site next to the Chester airport showed chilly morning lows but relatively warm afternoon highs. The average daily low was 20.3 degrees, which is two degrees colder than the norm. Average daily high was 53.1 degrees, more than seven degrees warmer than the norm. The extreme low was 6 degrees (on February 23), while the extreme high was 65 degrees (on the 11th).
March still has the potential to bring considerable moisture to the region, so we’ll hope for additional snow or rain during that period. March also brings warming temperatures as we transition from the winter to the spring season.