Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

High pressure shields Solano County from rain

dry weather RK 1c

Chase Holder dips his rod into a small creek at Lagoon Valley Park Monday. According to the National Weather Service Solano County is set to experience more unseasonably warm weather this week, with temperatures raining up to 70 degrees and no rain. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | January 15, 2014 | 1 Comment

FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s storm-repelling force shield of high pressure is back in place and as strong as ever, with some local farmers beginning to feel the heat.

The area got a spattering of rain on the weekend. Now the rain has again disappeared during what is usually the heart of the rainy season.

“At least for the next 10 days, it is dry, dry, dry,” said Mike Pechner, a Cordelia Villages resident and owner of Golden West Meteorology.

Flooding is a common January weather-related threat. Fire is a bigger danger this year. The National Weather Service on Monday and Tuesday called a red-flag fire warnings in nearby brown, dry hills because of winds. The National Weather Service on Tuesday predicted temperatures in Fairfield could reach 72 degrees on Wednesday, compared to the normal 52 degrees.

“The ridge of high pressure is right over the top of us,” Pechner said. “In that pattern, we get the absolute warmest air.”

That’s bad news for farmers in the Montezuma Hills of eastern Solano County. They depend on the rain to grow grasses for grazing sheep and to water crops such as wheat.

“All the ranchers are thinking about how we’re going to be able to feed our animals as time goes on,” rancher Al Medvitz said.

One option is buying hay, but that costs money. Another is selling off flocks, he said.

“There’s still time to get some food out here, if we got some rain maybe in the next couple of weeks,” Medvitz said.

If the rains come at some point beyond that, the vegetation growth won’t be as strong and vigorous as is typical, he said.

“We can still get rain and it will help some, but there’s still a setback here,” Medvitz said. “It’s serious.”

County Agricultural Commissioner Jim Allan agreed. He said the forage for sheep and cattle couldn’t catch up even with late-season rains.

“We would very much welcome (rain),” Allan said. “But the situation is dire enough up there that it could start raining right now and it just wouldn’t fix it.”

Farms in other parts of the county get irrigation water from Lake Berryessa reservoir. Typically, the Solano Irrigation District delivers no water between Oct. 15 and early March, with farmers getting rain for free from storms.

Not this year. The Solano Irrigation District Board of Directors on Thursday during a special meeting voted to start water deliveries outside the irrigation season.

About six property owners representing thousands of acres of agriculture attended the meeting, Solano Irrigation District General Manager Cary Keaten said. In addition, the district received calls from 40 to 60 other farmers who wanted irrigation water.

The Solano Irrigation District will deliver water for at least two weeks, Keaten said. Then it will play things by ear and see how February shapes up for rain.

“If there’s a couple of inches in the forecast, then we’ll hold off,” Keaten said.

Allan said the wintertime irrigation, either from pumping well water or using Solano Irrigation District water from Lake Berryessa, is an unanticipated cost for farmers.

Lake Berryessa reservoir in Napa County provides water to Solano County farms and cities. Despite the dry weather, it remains at 69 percent of capacity. The massive reservoir can be slow to fill and also slow to empty.

Allan is not yet ready to submit a drought declaration for Solano County farmers to the state and federal governments. He wants to know the extent of the losses first. Every day that the rain doesn’t fall, the situation gets worse, he said.

“You can pull the trigger too soon on those things,” Allan said.

Pechner doesn’t describe this strange weather as global warming, given the cold weather that has hit much of the nation.

“This has been a brutal winter in the nation’s midsection,” Pechner said. “You could say this is global warming, but you’d never convince anybody back East that’s the case.”

Climate change is a possibility, he said. The melting of glaciers changes water temperatures and ocean temperatures influence weather, he said. But he stressed he’s not saying the prolonged dry weather actually is a result of climate change. He also pointed out that local weather records go back only to about 1850.

“Our weather records compared to how long this particular weather regime has been here is like a pimple on the back of an elephant,” Pechner said.

A large solar flare last week could result in a shift in the weather pattern by Jan. 24 or 25, Pechner said.

“I think that could open the storm door, so to speak, meaning the jet stream would be coming more toward Northern California and possibly bring us some rain,” Pechner said. “That’s the only hope at this point.”

As for the storm over the weekend, it proved to be no game-changer for the dry stretch. Pechner said he got some drizzle and sprinkles at his house.

“I wouldn’t even call it a trace,” Pechner said.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. 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.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Supervisor candidates vary on Plan Bay Area

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Earth Day means cleanup Day for Suisun City

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Hop to it: Couple lights up home, yard for Easter

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1

 
Bay Area makes growth plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

Ranking the best Bay Area athletes

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
The Edge hosts Easter egg hunt

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

Alooma Temple keeps children in mind

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield author to speak at women’s expo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

The resurrection has changed the lives of Christians

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Piano scholarship competition set in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Understanding your health insurance

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: D4

 
Armijo graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Record Store Day a commercial hit

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Easter egg hunt brings out the smiles

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. joins Fairfield coffee corridor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7, 3 Comments | Gallery

City sets plan to dispose of property assets

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

 
Fairfield police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Counties tell Brown they need money for his law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
San Francisco probe leading to entrapment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Exhibit recreates Warhol’s 1964 World’s Fair mural

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Documents detail another delayed GM recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Costa Rican a celebrity after certified miracle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Neighborhood speeders don’t get it

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Why would a person do this?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Sound off for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Government … for the government?

By Bill James | From Page: A8

 
Jeb Bush, love, and today’s GOP

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A9

Statistical frauds distort equal-pay debate

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A9

 
Are government ‘carrots’ fair, worthwhile?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Book details lives of cloistered nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bill Nye says he underestimated debate’s impact

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 3 Comments

Horoscopes for April 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
Pete spends weekends at my house but he never invites me to his

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

.

Entertainment

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Tartt, Goodwin finalists for Carnegie medals

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book on fracking illuminates pros, cons

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

A’s score 3 in 9th, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors beat Clippers 109-105 in playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings, Sharks look to put Game 1 in past

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stults, Padres hand Giants third straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raptors GM Ujiri uses profanity about Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Williams scores 24 as Nets beat Raptors 94-87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Durant leads Thunder past Grizzlies 100-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Federer beats injured Djokovic to reach final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Wie shoots 67, wins LPGA LOTTE Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Travis Bowl Highlights

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Rapids, Earthquakes play to scoreless tie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Stars Recreation bowling results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Jimenez leads Langer by 1 shot in Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Indians set two new school records for track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Award-winning archery champ shoots with his teeth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

US delays review of contentious Keystone pipeline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Subscription sample boxes shake up beauty routines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Girls from modest families get lift in technology

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Haunted house part of San Antonio apartment lofts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
Recalls this week: lanterns, exercise devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

Review: Siri-like Cortana fills Windows phone gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Obituaries

Lloyd G. Hoffmeister

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Ramon Isidro

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Rogelio Tinoco-Zamudio

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
James Leroy Barbour

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

William Paul Wehrly

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Margaret Elizabeth Silva

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics