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Rain Might Fall But It Won't Fill The Valley's Deficit

US National Weather Service Hanford California

California’s drought is causing big concerns for residents and farmers up and down the state. But while a storm is expected to bring some precipitation to the area Thursday, FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports the valley’s rainfall deficit is actually worse than the season totals indicate.  


According to independent meteorologist Steve Johnson, more moisture has evaporated from the ground than has actually fallen from the sky this rainy season.

That means the valley is not only in a deficit when it comes to rainfall totals for the season, but there’s actually less moisture in the ground now than there was when the rainy season began.

According to Johnson tomorrow's storm will only "compensate for about 4 days of what we've lost through evapotranspiration."

“When you add the little rainfall we’ve had to the deficit that has been created by these warm days and dry conditions since December ends up with a loss of about two and a half inches of rain. So we’ve dug ourselves a pretty deep whole,” Johnson says.

He says the lack of rain isn’t the only factor in the current drought.

“We’re not only dry because of the lack of water falling from the sky we’re extra dry because during that normally wet period of time . . . we’ve had sunny clear days with evapotranspiration like springtime,” Johnson says.

According to Johnson tomorrow’s storm will only “compensate for about 4 days of what we’ve lost through evapotranspiration.”

He says that Thursday’s storm will just settle the dust in the Valley and the Sierra Nevada. 

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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