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Continuing Lack of Rainfall May Lead to Smallest Season Total This Decade

Posted March 25, 2007, 6:17 PM.

With nearly every month below average this rainfall season, and the key months of January through March at less than 2" in most inland spots, the 2006-2007 rain season is shaping up to be perhaps the driest of the decade.

Only two years after most inland areas in Western Riverside and Northern San Diego counties received better than 30", season totals were at 3.00" in Temecula, 2.30" in Murrieta, 3.60" in Hemet, 1.60" in Riverside, and 1.76" in Lake Elsinore. Fallbrook, ordinarily the the rainfall leader for the eight WeatherCurrents communities, leads the way 5.11".

Normal season totals for late March should be between 10" and 14". Historically in Southern California, storm frequency and rainfall diminishes by half in April and by about another half in May, then are nearly non-existent by June.

Temecula's current total of 3.00" for the season would be the lowest this decade with no additional rainfall. The lowest totals occurred in 2001-2002, with 3.87".

Fallbrook's 5.11" for 2006-2007 was ahead of the 2001-2002 low of 3.30", which is the lowest in about 30 years in that area. If the season ended today, the 5.11" would be the second lowest in that 30 year period. See Fallbrook rainfall for more data for the 1976 through 2002.

A fast-moving storm slated for the last week of March doesn't stand to alter the totals very much, with only about a quarter of an inch predicted in most locations.

The lack of rainfall has suppressed the wildflower season this year and is likely to lead to an early fire season.

Tom Chester contributed to this story.

Season rainfall totals as of March 25 (in most communities):

Location Season  Source
South Fallbrook 5.11"  WeatherCurrents
East Hemet 3.60"  WeatherCurrents
De Luz 3.31"  WeatherCurrents
South Temecula 3.00"  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Murrieta 2.30"  WeatherCurrents
Central Temecula 2.47"  Keith Newman not including March
Eastern Temecula 2.45"  Jim Sappington not including March
Sun City 2.09"  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Lake Elsinore 1.76"  WeatherCurrents
Temecula (Crowne Hill) 1.74"  Bob Walton not including March
Riverside 1.60"  WeatherCurrents

Note: Hemet's total of 3.60" is aided by monsoonal summer thunderstorms in July and September which pad it by about 1.4".

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The Fallbrook weather pages are a service of WeatherCurrents. Fallbrook, California is located in northern San Diego County, close to I15 and Camp Pendleton, and is home to ranches, avocado and citrus groves, and plant nurseries.
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