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Mar 4, 2014 12:03 AM by Dave Hovde

Rain since last week was helpful but still much more needed

Since Wednesday night the Central Coast picked up a lot of rain, generally 2-4″ with some areas picking up even more. The Southcoast and mountains of Santa Barbara county picked up the most. (Click here for a text report of cumulative rain. Clicking on any graphic in this story will provide a lager image.)

The reservoirs got badly needed rain too, however in most cases levels were only up a few percentage points. Levels and changes are indicated in the following graphics:

Of course we still need a lot of rain to cover the deficits which still run from 5.74″ to 10.38″ since our rain year began July 1st.

We are actually running out of realistic time to do that, computer models don't have any big storms headed our direction any time soon. 3.20″ of rain is an average month of rain in San Luis Obispo and only 1.1″ is average in April (most Central Coast averages are similar, in fact lower inland) so we need additional rain simply not to fall further behind with the drought. The Climate Prediction Center thinks there are equal chances of above or below normal rain through the end of March, earlier outlooks were for a dry period following an active start to the month.

But the rain will certainly help, it improves the fire risk and will green up the area and provide badly needed water for plants and animals however earlier today I liked it to filling up your tank with a quarter tank of gas: it'll get you down the road but you'll need more soon.

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