Moderate May in the Almanor Basin
By Dale Knutsen
Weather conditions in the Lake Almanor basin during May were not far off the long term averages for temperatures. Our average monthly low was 34.2 degrees F., just slightly lower than the norm, while our daytime average high was 66.6 degrees F., almost a degree cooler. There were 13 mornings when the low was at or below freezing, with an extreme low of 24 degrees on May 10. Our extreme high was 85 degrees at Chester airport on May 25.
We actually received considerably more than the usual amount of snowfall, with 9 inches recorded on the west shore. However, the water content of that snow plus a bit of rainfall only increased our total precipitation by 0.76 inch, about half the usual amount for May. Overall, our seasonal snowfall stands at 107 inches (84% of average) while our accumulated total precipitation rose to 29.77 inches or 96% of average. Basically, our local vegetation should do reasonably well but our winter runoff is limited due to the reduced snowpack.
June begins our usual dry period, with very little precipitation anticipated and warmer temperatures expected. That also means that fire hazards will increase as fuels dry out. Time to get those yard cleanup chores completed and become extra careful with anything that produces flame, sparks or high temperatures.