Sacramento is on the verge of having its first rain-free February in recorded history. It just needs to make it through Saturday without any measurable rainfall.
Typically, the city sees an average of 3.47 inches of rain in February. But this rainy season has been unusually dry.
And it’s not the only California city that’s parched.
San Francisco hasn’t had any measurable rainfall in February, when it usually averages 4.46 inches of rainfall.
If San Francisco lasts one more day without rain, it’ll be the first time that’s happened in 156 years.
With the National Weather Service forecasting a zero percent chance of rain in either city on Saturday, it looks like they’re going to make it.
Concerns over drought
Setting new records can be interesting. But in this case, it’s a cause for concern.
Winter is usually the rainy season in California, but these last two months have been anything but.
Besides February’s dryness, January was well below average for rainfall — 30% of normal for Sacramento and 60% of normal for San Francisco.
So far this year, the city is between 40 to 70 percent of its average water year, according to the weather service’s office in San Francisco. San Francisco had a similar problem in January 2015.
In fact, the only areas that seems to be above average for rainfall are some pockets of southern California: Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
California began the month with no part of the state under an official drought, according to the US Drought Monitor. Last week, 10% of the state was under a moderate drought. This week, it jumped to nearly a quarter of the state.
The concern isn’t just with the lack of rain, but also the record heat. Both Sacramento and San Francisco picked up a handful of record highs in February.
The combination of the hot and dry air has people concerned about wildfires in the upcoming months.