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Driest. February. Ever.

February 2020 was one for the record books in the Almanor basin. It was the driest February in the 109 years of recorded weather conditions here.

Officially, there was no measureable rainfall and only a trace of snowfall (on the evening of the 29th of February).

The Prattville monitoring site did show an increase in total precipitation during the month, but that requires a bit of explanation.

Some of the increase was due to an instrument correction that should have been applied at the end of January.

A very slight amount (0.02 inch) was due to the trace of snowfall on the 29th. And the remainder was due to the very sensitive nature of the sensor, which measured the moisture content of nighttime dew that formed most nights during the month.

As of midnight Feb. 29, the seasonal accumulation of total precipitation was 12.85 inches, or 56 percent of average for this point in our July-June water season.

Total recorded snowfall remained constant at 56.5 inches, or 57 percent of average. Not a very encouraging set of figures during what is normally our wet season.

February temperatures were a mixed bag. Our average low temperature was nearly 2 degrees cooler than average, but our average high temperature is almost 9 degrees warmer.

March and, to a lesser degree, April, are typically wet months locally, but none of the forecasters are predicting a major turnaround in this season’s dry spell.

Perhaps some community rain dances would be appropriate.

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