Almanor water season ends on the dry side

Dale Knutsen
Special to Feather Publishing

The 2011-12 precipitation season ended June 30 with the Lake Almanor Basin having received a somewhat less than average amount of water. The accumulated total precipitation for the year was 25.98 inches at the Prattville monitoring site. This comes to about 78 percent of average for the year.

A quick comparison of annual total precipitation percentages for the past five years shows the following:

—The 2011-12 season was 78 percent of average and nearly half of the 2010-11 season that reached the high of 140 percent of average.

—The 2009-10 season reached 98 percent, which was the same for the 2008-09 season.

—The 2007-08 season was slightly less than this year at only 75 percent.

Surprisingly enough, our snowfall total for the years was right at 100 percent of the long-term average.

Our first snow arrived in October and the final small amount was logged in early June, with a total of 135 inches accumulating at the Lake Almanor West monitoring site.

While the total snowfall figure sounds encouraging, the water content of much of this season’s snow tended toward the dry side. That led to only limited spring runoff.

The first three months of the new precipitation year are typically dry with not much more than about an inch of rainfall anticipated during the period. Significant moisture usually begins a gradual return in the autumn.



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