First rain since April leaves but a trace in a wimpy kickoff of the new rainfall season

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on October 2, 2018

The early morning sprinkles that got plants and streets wet, but not much more, had passed through by mid-morning. New clouds threatened this afternoon, but there was no more rainfall as of 4:00 pm.

Reports Sally Russ, who joins Bill this rainfall season in reporting the number of inches: “I went hopefully to the rain gauge and found one large drop, like a big tear, on the bottom of the gauge.”

A shame given that it was the first precipitation since .2″ fell April 16, meaning it’s been one long dry spell, absent of a seasonal thunderstorm that often rolls through in late August or September.

InMenlo weather watcher Bill reported last May: “13.3” was our 17’-18’ season . That compares to an abundant 34.45″ the previous year.”

Now that we’re into a new weather year, which began on October 1, what are the chances for a return of El Niño? We turned to The California Weather Blog, overseen by Dr. Daniel Swain, to get some insight.

He wrote in September: “In California, there’s quite a bit of folklore surrounding El Niño – even in the water resources and weather communities, where opinions vary widely. For some folks, El Niño means lots of rain; La Niña means drought. For others, the importance of El Niño/La Niña (ENSO) oscillations are seen as largely unimportant, or highly unreliable…in short: ENSO certainly isn’t everything when it comes to California precipitation, but on the other hand particularly strong El Niño and La Niña events are quite likely to be consequential. Current seasonal projections for 2019 suggest a high likelihood of a weak to moderate El Niño event.”

You can read all of what Dr. Swain wrote here.

Photo of backyard tomato covered with morning rain by Robb Most (c) 2018

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