It’s been one active wet season across the West, with several eye-catching numbers for most major cities along the Pacific coastline.
Take a look at this chart of a few select West cities compared to average so far in 2017:
Not impressed? How about this stat from Reno, Nevada: the city’s already seen 10.47″ of rainfall so far this year, which exceeds the full-year average of 7.40″. So, Reno’s at 141% of their full year annual rainfall…in mid-April. Astounding.
Of course, all of this rain has already had the enormously positive effect of all but wiping out the historic multi-year drought that wrecked havoc across the West Coast, specifically in California. Drought conditions, with just this one wet season, have gone from most of California covered in an extreme drought to little to none at all in just a few months.
On the wintry side of things, it’s been so snowy in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California that Squaw Valley Ski Resort, near Lake Tahoe, may stay open through the summer.
An active jet stream pattern that’s continually brought in moisture via the so-called ‘Pineapple Express’, or a pipeline of subtropical moisture originating in Pacific waters around Hawaii, is the primary driving force behind this year’s unusually active pattern across the West. It’s consistently brought in moisture-packed storms that have unleashed rainfall totals rivaling the busiest seasons on record, most notably during the 1997-98 years.
But with spring in bloom, dry season should slowly cut off the moisture pipeline and dwindle rainfall totals to a near stop through September, particularly for California and Nevada.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on the rain and precipitation out West.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi