By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Despite storms SJ County, Sierra still in drought
weather pic
School crossing guards at Hawkeye and Geer try to stay dry during a recent rain storm. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop may not see any more rain until March.

The long-range forecast by Accuweather based off of National Weather Service modeling underscores the fact California isn’t out of the woods when it comes to the potential for 2021 being a drought year even with the recent heavy storms that dumped significant snow in the Sierra.

The rest of the month is expected to see weather that has daily highs in the mid-60s to the low 40s with no rain anticipated until March 1.

As of Thursday, all of San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties including the Sierra watersheds of the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers that supply water to farms and cities throughout the 209 were in moderate drought. That is an upgrade from a week ago when much of the three county area was rated as being in severe drought by the United States Department of Agriculture Drought Monitor.

Overall, 27 million Californians resides in areas now considered in drought.

This week’s snow survey to measure water content was 70 percent of normal for this time of year.

Snowpack in the Sierra supplies about 30 percent of the state’s water needs.

State water experts say it will take multiple days of above-average precipitation to make up for October, November and December when only 39 percent of the average rain and snow fell throughout California.

February is considered one of the three wettest months of the year.

The National Weather Service that only makes specific forecasts for areas seven days out anticipates the week to be dry.

There is also the possibility the Sierra could get more snow in February with no rain falling in the valley.

That is reflected in precipitation numbers for San Jose that are much lower compared to the average so far than for the Sierra.

San Jose, the rest of the Bay Area, and many cities in Northern California are currently in one of the two worst rainfall deficits since records started being kept in 1849.

If dry trends continue it will translate into heightened wildfire concerns this year as well as increase the risk of water restrictions returning.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email