Stingy Storm Deepens Drought Concerns

First time since October county "in the red" for rain

By Whitney Southwick
|  Monday, Mar 23, 2009  |  Updated 4:30 PM PDT
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Stingy Storm Deepens Drought Concerns

Jamie Crowley

Unfortunately for San Diego, even while the storm was here it was "more wind than rain."

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The fast moving storm is gone; it's turned into a blizzard for parts of Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas.  Unfortunately for San Diego, even while it was here it was  "more wind than rain" and, as a result  the county's rainfall deficit is larger and so are concerns about the drought.

Lindbergh Field, the area's official reporting station, received only .14 of an inch of rain, most of that between 10:00 AM and noon on Sunday.  Accumulations near the coast and in the valleys ranged from just a trace of moisture to about a quarter of an inch.  The mountains did better, receiving as much as a half inch in a couple of spots.  The news gets worse because this was likely  the last storm we'll see for March and the months get drier starting in April. 

A week ago, San Diego officially moved into the red, dropping into negative territory for rainfall for the season, which means we've gone from a "wet year" to a dry one and water restrictions this summer are almost a certainty.  Too bad too because much of the winter gave us reason to be optimistic.  At the end of December we were actually a couple of inches above normal and even stayed on the positive side through February despite a  very dry January. 

This month was pretty much our last hope, because March is normally a pretty wet month, but, so far we've only seen .18 of an inch which is about a tenth of what we should have by now.  For the entire season, which begins July 1st, Lindbergh Field has recieved 8.94" which is .24" below normal.

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