San Benito County continues to experience a late surge in rain after a dry start to the winter, but it remains highly unlikely that the area will finish the season at normal historical levels for precipitation, a forecaster told San Benito Live.
The area is on a break Monday before a good amount of rain is expected from Tuesday through Friday. That next patch of rain comes after several storms have hit the area in recent weeks.
Since the start of the month, a weather station in Hollister has had 1.56 inches of rain, according to forecaster Steve Anderson with the National Weather Service. That puts the seasonal total at about 6.5 inches of rain. It’s about half of the historic total of 13 to 15 inches here for the rainy season, which typically runs from October through March but can extend into May.
Anderson said the storms later this week are expected to bring another one to 1.5 inches of rain, helping the area to creep up toward a more healthy seasonal figure. Still, the record-low February rainfall after relatively low December and January months leaves too much ground to make up to get to the seasonal average, he believes.
“We’d have to have record-breaking rainfall for the last three months to get back to normal,” he said. “There’s no way we’re going to get to normal this year.”
With reservoirs, groundwater and snowpack levels looking OK, though, it’s not all that bad of an outlook. It helps that the Hollister area received 22 inches in the 2016-17 rainy season.
“Every little bit helps, especially with those farms out there that rely on seasonal rainfall,” Anderson said.