Friday, January 30, 2015
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 |

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 [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.
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

Solano summit focuses on ways to end poverty

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fraud among challenges immigrants face, Fairfield panelists say

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Teens earn right to perform with symphony

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
From classical to Queen: Chamber Players are ready

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Photographer has a passion for color

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Cadets learn skills for future careers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Girls on the Run expands, seeks volunteers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Sports aircraft company CEO recalls effort to locate in Solano

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
‘Souper Bowl’ coming to Solano County

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

California’s snow survey shows far less snow than last month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
State to move more than 2,000 inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Doctors starting to shy away from non-vaccine advocates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Protestors shun sister-city relationship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Family killed man over child custody dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Killer says his ideas influenced family suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Anonymized’ credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fort Hood gunman Hasan says he wants to keep top lawyer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Attorney General nominee wins GOP endorsements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Gas blast at Mexico children’s hospital, at least 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukraine: Russia-backed rebels overrun another town in east

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Simultaneous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai kill 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A12 | Gallery

California meets judges’ prison crowding goal 1 year early

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 30, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My cousin’s 14-year-old son sleeps in the same bed as his grandma

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Jan. 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Jan. 30 through Feb. 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Hilary Duff, George Lopez help in search for stolen dog

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Musician Geezer Butler arrested in Death Valley altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lil Wayne sues mentor’s record label for $51M, seeking split

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway’s ‘An Act of God’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: A tired gimmick weakens thriller ‘Project Almanac’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

‘The Thorn Birds’ author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bernie Mac widow drops malpractice lawsuit against doctor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Serena aims for 19th major in Aussie final vs. Sharapova

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Marshawn Lynch talks about why he doesn’t talk to the media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Vanden boys pull away from feisty Fairfield 86-66

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7

Gronkowski and Chancellor make for must-see Super Bowl matchup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Signups for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Business

Chevrolet polishes its mid-size truck

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Prospect of Chinese cars in US still remain years away

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Obama seeks spending spike for defense, domestic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Who wants a bite of Hershey…jerky?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Senate passes Keystone XL bill, battles loom

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
McDonald’s under siege as new CEO steps in

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Gloria Elizabeth Neal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9