Friday, March 9, 2012

One Half normal rainfall in Northern California

This time last year we had 3 times the present rainfall and the same the year before. Without all this "extra" rain likely northern California would already be having water problems. And this doesn't appear to be limited to California as there is lower rainfalls and snowfalls in most western states except for the Northern half of Oregon and all of Washington which appear to be having above normal precipitation.

However, when I drive south from the San Francisco Bay area towards Los Angeles and back instead of the 3 to 5 foot high wild oats and other wild grasses growing there is only about 6 inches to 1 foot of wild grass so sheep and cattle and other livestock will be hard pressed to find enough wild grasses to sustain themselves this summer and fall throughout the western states. In addition to this the snow pack in the Sierras and lower Cascades appear to be mostly this ski season between 30 inches to 50 inches which is below normal which should be at least 8 to 10 feet about this time of year. This will greatly reduce river runoff. However, it is important to note that last years runoff in Yosemite Valley waterfalls was the highest in about 25 years. My cousin took a picture of Bridal Veil Falls last year which is usually only a ribbon of water but last year I thought the picture was of Yosemite Falls which almost always is a very big and wide waterfall.

So, this years runoff should be about 1/2 of the average because of the low snow pack in the Sierras. However, I would say other states like Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and others likely are going to have more problems with water than California is mostly because canals were built heading south towards Los Angeles from Northern California and West from the Colorado River so Los Angeles and San Diego still likely will have enough water for homes and apartments. The problem will likely be more for farmers and ranchers and whether they will be allowed to grow food or to have enough wild grasses to feed their livestock without buying as much food for them throughout the western states this summer and fall.

No comments: