BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Great news! Thanks to last week's Pineapple Express bringing more than an inch of rain to the valley and several inches to the mountains, Kern County is no longer in Severe Drought!
As of this morning's latest Drought Monitor Report, most of the county improved from Severe Drought status to Moderate Drought, and a swath from the Kern River Valley down into the northern Kern Desert improved from Moderate Drought to Abnormally Dry.
Here's a look at the numbers for Bakersfield:
After a good start to the month of March with several storms bringing impressive rain amounts, the Pineapple Express event soaked Kern County March 20-22. Typically we get about an inch of rain in the month of March, but this month we recorded 2.41" of rain. That brought our season to date total up to 3.73"! Now typically by this point in the water year we have received 5.48" of rain, so we're still almost two inches below average. That is why the drought continues, but it is much better than what we saw for the Winter months.
As for our forecast, we are now in the warmest trend of 2018 so far, but there is a hint that we could have a chance of rain late next week. Stay tuned!
You can read more from the Drought Monitor Report here, but here is the section that applies to our region: "Copious amounts of precipitation fell in the West during the USDM period, helping to restore the below-normal seasonal mountain snowpack in the Sierra. In the lower elevations, the atmospheric river event caused flash flooding and mudslides in the same area where forest fires last December charred the landscape. Little to no precipitation fell during the week in Arizona and New Mexico. Despite the recent precipitation in California, departures are evident beyond 30 days. At the 6-month time scale, precipitation amounts are 30-50 percent of normal in Southern California. However, for the same period (6-month), the recent storm brought the precipitation totals closer to normal in the central and northern Sierra. River basin snow water content now measures 75-90 percent of average in the central Sierra. The recent storm allowed the contraction of drought across much of the West this USDM period. However, where the precipitation did not fall (Desert Southwest and northwestern New Mexico), Severe and Extreme drought (D2-D3) was expanded."