Solano County

January looks to be on dry side — again

By From page A1 | January 25, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Finally, a January storm.

It brought about 0.2 inches of rain to the Fairfield area Thursday, hardly a gully-washer. But storms this month have been few and far between and all of them small.

For the third year in a row, what has historically been the wettest month of the year has been, if not a duster, pretty close to it.

The Fairfield area in January usually gets 3.5 inches to 4 inches of rain, said Golden West Meteorology owner and Fairfield resident Mike Pechner. This January has yielded about 25 percent of the normal amount, less than an inch, he said.

January still has six days to go. Pechner said he doesn’t foresee any big storms hitting during the time frame, with the area maybe getting a quarter-inch of rain this weekend.

“Believe it or not, the pattern looks dry the first week of February,” Pechner said.

Plus, cold, frosty mornings should return next week, Pechner said. During one stretch this January, he recorded 11 mornings in a row with low temperatures in the 20s, a record during his quarter-century of living in his Cordelia Villages neighborhood, he said.

High pressure deflecting storms is the reason for the dearth of rain this January. That pattern has happened in January for several years now, Pechner said.

Fairfield received virtually no rain in January 2011 and about a half-inch in January 2012. Now comes a January 2013 that seems all but certain to see below-normal rainfall.

Dry months in the middle of the rainy season have taken place even during wet years. In 1995, a 0.14-inch February got sandwiched between a 12.47-inch January and 9.21-inch March. The 1994-95 rain year saw almost 36 inches fall in Fairfield, far above the average of about 20 inches. That dry February didn’t hurt at all.

The Fairfield area has seen about 11.5 inches of rainfall this season, most during a particularly wet late-November and December 2012. The normal total is about 13 inches. The rain season in California is measured from July 1 through June 30.

Pechner said he isn’t ready to give up on the 2012-13 rain season, despite the dry January. He said this could still end up being an average rainfall year, or even an above-average one.

“The jury is still out,” Pechner said.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

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