Weather

Post image for 2014-15 rain year ends today in Menlo Park with somewhat surprising results

Those who regularly read InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ’s rainfall reports, will not be surprised that his back yard gauges recorded 18.1″ for the 2014-15 rain year which began July 1 and ends today (June 30).

Emails Bill: “This compares to 9.55″ in 2013-14; 16.5″ in 2012-13; and 11.95″ for for 2011-12. This, then, was the best of the four years.”

In other weather-related news, Menlo Park-based U.S. Geological Survey recently released a study showing that although record low precipitation has been the main driver of one of the worst droughts in California history, abnormally high temperatures have also played an important role in amplifying its adverse effects.

Trinity Lake dry

Experiments with a hydrologic model for the period Oct. 2013-Sept. 2014 showed that if the air temperatures had been cooler, similar to the 1916-2012 average, there would have been an 86% chance that the winter snowpack would have been greater, the spring-summer runoff higher, and the spring-summer soil moisture deficits smaller.

High heat has multiple damaging effects during drought, according to the study, increasing the vulnerability of California’s water resources and agricultural industry. Not only does high heat intensify evaporative stress on soil, it has a powerful effect in reducing snowpack, a key to reliable water supply for the state. In addition to decreased snowpack, higher temperatures can cause the snowpack to melt earlier, dramatically decreasing the amount of water available for agriculture in summer when it is most needed.

Top photo: Rainbow over Menlo-Atherton High School taken in December 2014 by Betsy Sergeant Snow

Middle photo: Drought effects at Trinity Lake, a major California reservoir located about 60 miles NW of Redding, California. USGS photo, Tim Reed, Feb. 2014. Photo source: CA Water Science Center

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All day “weeping” adds to Menlo Park rain total

Thumbnail image for All day “weeping” adds to Menlo Park rain total

Emails InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ: “Hooray! The all day weeping [on Wednesday] accumulated to .15″ in both my backyard gauges. This brings my season-to date-total to 18.1″. My threshold for a ‘good’ year is 20″. June is not done!” The rainfall here in Menlo Park usually falls at a midpoint between what is recorded […]

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Today’s rain arrives with a few claps of thunder

Thumbnail image for Today’s rain arrives with a few claps of thunder

There was a bit of weather excitement in Menlo Park today with a thunderstorm (well, at least two claps of thunder) causing power outages that lasted from 15 to 30 minutes. By 2:30 the sun was out. InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ collated just a bit over .1″ in his gauge, bringing his season-to-date total […]

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Overnight rain pushes yearly rainfall in Menlo Park a notch closer to 20 inches

Thumbnail image for Overnight rain pushes yearly rainfall in Menlo Park a notch closer to 20 inches

Update: Yesterday’s storm did bring about a foot of snow to the Sierras. Johnnie Powell of the National Weather Service in Sacramento commented, “We’ll take anything we can get.” Emails InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ Saturday morning:  “[I found] .35″ of rain in my gauge this morning, raising my season-to-date total to 17.85″. This may not […]

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Overnight rain makes for a soggy morning in Menlo Park

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PM update: Bill got another .1″ after his initial report, bringing this storm’s total to .8″ and the year to date to 17.5″ Emailed InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ: “.7″ as of 7:25 am, and still raining softly. With the .7″ we are 17.4″ season-to-date.”

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Clouds squeeze out a bit more rain in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Clouds squeeze out a bit more rain in Menlo Park

Emails InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ: “What a surprise to discover .1″ in both my gauges. So, my season to date is 16.7″.” We presume the snowy egret pictured is pleased that there is water still big puddles and the creek. Photo by Dennis Nugent

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Wet streets for morning commute but not much rainfall in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Wet streets for morning commute but not much rainfall in Menlo Park

Emails InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ: “I left the house at 7:00 am when it was still dark. Coming home a bit ago I can eke out .1″ for a season-to-date total of 16.6″. Sure wish there was more.” Maybe that was just enough to make these poppies spotted in west Menlo Park happy in […]

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Will there be more rain in Menlo Park this winter? Well, maybe…

Thumbnail image for Will there be more rain in Menlo Park this winter? Well, maybe…

Emails InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ: “This is to encourage InMenlo rain watchers not to despair. Our total for the season to date is 16.5″. The rain year of 2010-11′ was the last total over 20″ (in my back yard}. As of this date, March 9, 2011, the amount was 14.35″. By the end of […]

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Some got rain, some got hail, some got nothing – all depends on where you live in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Some got rain, some got hail, some got nothing – all depends on where you live in Menlo Park

There were more than the usual number of variations in today’s rain storm that passed through Menlo Park earlier this afternoon. InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ, who lives in Central Menlo emailed: “A shower passed through, today, our first rain since February 8, depositing .1″ in my gauge. My season-todate total, in my backyard, is […]

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Another inch of rain falls on Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Another inch of rain falls on Menlo Park

Emails weather watcher Bill Russ: “Just in case InMenlo readers are ‘rain conscious’ today, I went out at noon and found 1″ in my gauges. That is 16.4″ season-to-date. Driving home from Redwood City about 10:30 it was quite a downpour.” We, too, were out and about around 10:30 and saw the downpour. By the time […]

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Latest storm adds almost 2 inches of rain to Menlo Park season total

Thumbnail image for Latest storm adds almost 2 inches of rain to Menlo Park season total

InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ sent us this report: “Now just at little after 3:00 pm, and the sun is shining. I recorded a whopping 1.8″ in my gauge from the rainfall that began falling yesterday. That means my season to date total is 15.4″. That compares to 10″ this same date in 2011, the last […]

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