Update: La Niña: slightly warmer, slightly moister, so far

A rainbow appears over Neenach. Photo courtesy of Jeff Zimmerman

This water year, which stretches from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, is on track to outpace the last two months of 2015.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Saugus weather station measured 1.58 cumulative inches of precipitation for the water year, said Bonnie Bartling, specialist for the National Weather Service Oxnard office.

Though the Santa Clarita Valley is still below last year’s mark when the station cleared 1.62 inches of rain by the end of Dec. 2015. But, Bartling said the area still has time to clear the hurdle.

Daytime high temperatures, on the other hand, have measured slightly higher as well.

“We’ve been running warmer and temperatures are probably going to be above versus below,” Bartling said.

Historically, the chances for rain aren’t as high for a La Nina year compared to El Nino, but that’s not set in stone — there have been exceptions.

“On a few occasions, we’ve received as much rain as El Nino,” Barling said.

January and February are typically Southern California’s wettest months. Although much of the storms dumped rain well to the north, so far, the Los Angeles metropolitan is somewhat on pace with last year’s El Nino conditions.

“The last storm did really well,” Bartling said, referring to a measurable rain between Dec. 15 and Dec. 16.

In 12 hours on Thursday night, the Saugus area received about 0.38 inches of rain.

Bartling said Christmas Day is forecast to be dry, but a low pressure system, which generally brings precipitation, is expected to settle in on Dec. 26.

“We’re ahead, so that’s the good news,” she said.

And with the latest storms to cross the Santa Clarita Valley, that should be good news for the region’s water reservoir which benefited from last year’s increased rain and snow packs in the state’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

Castaic Lake levels stand at 179,000 acre-feet, which is 71 percent of the historical average, 247,000 acre-feet, according to Dirk Marks, water resources manager at the Castaic Lake Water Agency.

The lake level is about 55 percent of 319,000 acre-feet, which is its full capacity, Marks said.


Related To This Story

Latest NEWS