Downtown LA 3.60
Santa Barbara 3.95
Paso Robles 1.92
Santa Cruz 4.78
All are all-time records. I could give you a dozen more. The total precipitation for the last three months (see graphic) shows much of California has gotten less than 1.5 inches with large areas not even getting an inch.
Snow pack in the Sierra Nevada is now at alarming levels ranging from 8% of normal in the north to 22% of normal to the south.
California has massive reservoir capacity and the state did get a lot of precipitation in late 2012, but the lack of rain has brought most of the reservoirs to far below capacity, particularly the critical large ones in the northern part of the State (see below).
The February prediction from the Climate Prediction Center (see below) is for a continuation of dry conditions over California.
But this lack of precipitation is bringing major records and is getting very serious. This pattern of dry conditions over the the entire western U.S/southern BC. is different from the pattern suggested by many climate models for the end of the century: very dry over southern and central CA, but wetter over the Northwest and British Columbia.
Forecast note: the inversion over the western interior will strengthen today, but weaken greatly Saturday as clouds from a weak front approaches. Cold and foggy over lowlands but warm along the coast (60s) and over the Cascade foothills. No rain at all in the near future, with the exception of perhaps a few sprinkles on the coast on Saturday. No new snow.
Finally, a big thank you to all of you that supported my colleague's (Becky Alexander) research project to study ozone production associated with gas fracking. She is in the field now!