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Recap of a Disappointing 2006-2007 Rain Season

Posted July 14, 2007, 9:47 AM.

The 2006-2007 rain season ended June 30th with most WeatherCurrents communities reporting their lowest totals this decade. The low totals continued two years of below average totals, this past season being well below average, that followed a very wet 2004-2005 season.

The rain season had a decent start with last summer's monsoon weather, particularly in Hemet, where 0.54" fell on July 17th, 22nd and 23rd, 2006 and 0.85" caused flooding on September 6th, 2006. Other notable 2006 monsoon rain totals included 0.56" in Menifee Valley, 0.46" in Temecula and 0.21" in Lake Elsinore on July 22nd, 2006, 0.31" in Murrieta on September 5th, 2006, and 0.22" in Temecula on September 6th, 2006. Riverside was the only WeatherCurrents community without measurable rainfall from thunderstorms last summer.

An abnormally wet April made the totals better than they would have been otherwise. Rain on April 20th and and April 22nd and 23rd padded most communities totals by 0.40" to 0.85". Temecula, De Luz, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore and Riverside all had their wettest storms of the season in April.

The normally wet months of January, February and March this past season just weren't. Many winter storms normally leave a half an inch to an inch or more, and, instead, the 2007 winter was dry.

Once again, as was true in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, Fallbrook registered the highest rain total for the season, with 6.10". Fallbrook had just 3.31" in the other dry season this decade, 2001-2002. Fallbrook's three-year seasonal average is 18.07".

Temecula's 3.75" total was the lowest since records began in 2000-2001, even lower than a dismal 3.87" in 2001-2002. A normal rain season in Temecula is between 12" and 14". For the past five years, average seasonal rainfall at WeatherCurrents' Temecula location is 14.95", which is likely skewed too high.

Hemet's 4.22" for the season benefited greatly from the 2006 monsoons. A four year average for WeatherCurrent's Hemet location is 13.60".

WeatherCurrents' Murrieta location, normally slightly wetter than Temecula, was a dry 2.87". A three-year average for northwest Murrieta is 16.76".

Canyon Crest in Riverside recorded only 2.15" of rainfall for the 2006-2007 season, the lowest total of any WeatherCurrents community.

Other rainfall totals for the past rain season were 3.01" in the Menifee Valley, only 2.22" in Lake Elsinore and 4.15" in De Luz.

The lack of rainfall has likely increased the chances of wildfires this summer and later this year in the area. Much of the brush which grew in the wet season of 2004-2005 should be dry and more apt to burn.

The long range outlook for the traditionally wet months of January through March, 2008 currently calls for an even chance of a wetter or drier new season, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

The rain season in California runs from July 1st to June 30th.

Location 2006-2007 Season Average Source
South Fallbrook 6.10"  18.07"  WeatherCurrents
East Hemet 4.22"  13.60"  WeatherCurrents
De Luz 4.15"  N/A  WeatherCurrents
South Temecula 3.75"  14.95"  WeatherCurrents
Eastern Temecula 3.35"  N/A  Jim Sappington
Sun City 3.01"  N/A  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Murrieta 2.87"  16.76"  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Lake Elsinore 2.22"  N/A  WeatherCurrents
Riverside (Canyon Crest) 2.15"  N/A  WeatherCurrents

Note: The averages here shouldn't be interpreted to be the actual average rainfall for these communities. In most cases, they are too high due to the 2004-2005 rainfall and do not take into account enough rain seasons. No averages are given where there is not at least three complete rain seasons of data.

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