Weather

Sacramento breaks 130-year record for lack of rain

sacto-radar-grab.jpgThe Sacramento Bee says that in the annals of weather records, this is one nobody wanted to break. "On Thursday, downtown Sacramento recorded its 47th continuous winter day without measurable rainfall, breaking a record that has stood since 1884, according to the National Weather Service," the Bee reported. Says Kelly Redmond, a climatologist and deputy director at the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno: “It’s just tremendous that this kind of spectacular dry period has continued for so long.”

The record applies only to downtown Sacramento, but exemplifies the extraordinarily dry conditions across California that last week prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a statewide drought emergency. Redmond said that, for California as a whole, the dry trend is actually much longer. Based on records dating to 1895, the 30 months ending in December 2013 were drier than any similar period ever recorded in the state.

“It’s just seeming to find a new way to not rain every few days,” he said. “I think at this point, people would like to see just about any form of precipitation.”

In response, municipal water agencies throughout the Sacramento region have called on customers to slash water use by 20 percent. The latest to join that list is the Elk Grove Water District, which approved a voluntary 20 percent conservation order on Wednesday. The cities of Sacramento and Folsom have already made that conservation target mandatory, and many others are likely to do the same in February as the dry trend continues.

On top of that, forecasters expected that today's temperature in Sacramento would be the highest ever recorded for a Jan. 24 there.

Bare weather radar screen at KCRW.com


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