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Five straight years of disappointing January rainfall in Sacramento

NYT

It is very likely that this month will be the driest January on record in Sacramento, marking a string of five straight years of below normal precipitation for the first month of the year.

January is usually the wettest month of the year with an average of 3.97 inches of rain. The past five Januaries have been less than 3 inches of rainfall, some years, like 2015 and 2014, way under.

The totals for 2011-2015 for Sacramento:

▪ 2011: 1.37

▪ 2012: 2.52

▪ 2013: 1.06

▪ 2014: 0.20

▪ 2015: 0.01 and counting

The last time the city had plentiful rainfall in January was 2010 when the area was blessed with 4.75 inches. From the 17th to the 31st that month, there was scarcely a day that the city didn’t get rained on.

Compare that to this month when the only recorded rain was on Jan. 19, a minuscule amount of 0.01 inches – barely more than a trace. The month has played a big role in continuing a multi-year drought.

It has not always been that way. January 1862 is the wettest month on record.

The 15.04 inches of rain that fell that month was recorded before official government observations began. Two physicians, Dr. F.M. Hatch, a retired Army surgeon, and Dr. T.M. Logan, tallied the number and their records are considered reliable.

Sometimes, January rain comes in steady amounts over three- or four-day storms. Other times, it arrives in buckets, such as on Jan. 21, 1943, when a daily record of 3.14 inches of rain soaked the city.

The only record that will be set this month in Sacramento is for the least rain ever in a January, breaking the record for the driest January previously set in 2007 when just 0.07 inches fell.

The detailed, seven-day forecast for the Sacramento area:

Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 62. Calm wind becoming north-northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 45. Light southeast wind.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 60. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 44. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 61. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the morning.

Friday night: Clear, with a low around 44.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 62.

Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 43.

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 61.

Sunday night: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46.

Monday: A slight chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 60.

Monday night: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 61.

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

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