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January-February 2015 is Sacramento’s 7th driest period on record

Blue Canyon
Blue Canyon

An arid January and a middling amount of precipitation in February have placed the two months squarely in the top 10 driest in Sacramento history.

When meteorologists with the National Weather Service looked at Sacramento records for the two months, they discovered that when January and February 2015 rainfall totals were combined, they were the seventh driest on record.

The total this year for the two months is 2.29 inches: 0.01 inches in January and 2.28 inches in February.

Normally, the two months deliver an average of 7.66 inches, 3.97 in January and 3.69 in February. Rainfall for the season stands at 11.57 inches, which is 76 percent of normal.

Here are the top 10 driest January-February time periods, based on records dating back to 1877:

1. 0.48 inches in 1889

2. 1.32 inches in 2013

3. 1.43 inches in 1971

4. 1.67 inches in 1946

5. 2.08 inches in 1989

6. 2.21 inches in 2003

7. 2.29 inches in 2015

8. 2.31 inches in 1910

9. 2.32 inches in 1929

10. 2.35 inches in 1923

As anyone who owns skis knows, it has also been plenty dry in the mountains. The weather service experts in the Sacramento office discovered that this year was the eighth driest January-February on record at Blue Canyon in Placer County, elevation 4,695 feet.

The top 10 driest first two months of the year, dating back to 1940, at Blue Canyon:

1. 2.20 inches in 2013

2. 7.71 inches in 2011

3. 8.04 inches in 1946

4. 8.26 inches in 2003

5. 8.55 inches in 1985

6. 8.82 inches in 1977

7. 9.69 inches in 1961

8. 9.74 inches in 2015

9. 9.79 inches in 1947

10. 10.27 inches in 1971

A strong high-pressure system is expected to continue to bring fair skies and temperatures that are well above normal. Temperatures in the 70s are forecast to prevail through Monday.

A slight chance of rain is predicted for Wednesday.

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

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