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Even after recent storms, SLO Co. still behind target for rainfall this season

Central Coast rain totals
Posted at 6:38 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 09:50:46-04

After two dry months in what is usually the heart of San Luis Obispo County's rainy season, the area finally received a batch of showers Tuesday and Wednesday that resulted in rain accumulations of up to 3 in. in some places.

But the National Weather Service said the recent rains may not be enough to make up for the lost precipitation at the start of the year.

The big winners in terms of rain totals were Pismo beach, Oceano, and San Luis Obispo.

The rain gauge is still low for this time of year and that concerns the national weather service.

"It will help delay some of our fire season," NWS Meteorologist Eric Boldt said. "But I think there's definitely some problems with how much rain has been missed in the last couple months as far as plants that really need that as we go into spring and the summer months. It may help a little but I think overall we've missed our opportunity to get some rainfall."

Boldt said San Luis Obispo County averages 3 in. of rain in March alone.

He added that even with the precipitation we received this week, the county is still about 5 to 7 in. of rainfall behind the season target

"We've been really dry in the months of January and February, so this is like the first storm we've had since that period of any significance so we've been in a deficit," Boldt said. "The storms we've had have been showery in nature, not hitting everywhere like we'd like. An inch to 2 inches is a bonus. We still will be below normal for the month of March unless we continue to see storms."

Record setting rain in the mountain areas last February boosted snow pack and gave life to a super bloom.

This year, Boldt suspects the forecast could be an early sign that drought is to come.