- Feb 7:
- California Drought: Desperately needed rain, courtesy of "Pineapple Express" slamming into California
- Feb 6:
- Drought doesn't mean doom for your plants
- Rain soaks Bay Area, another storm coming
- California drought: Big rain headed toward Bay Area could double dismal rainfall totals
- Feb 5:
- California drought: House water bill exposes deep partisan divide
- Feb 4:
- Gov. Jerry Brown calls congressional Republican drought bill 'divisive'
- Roadshow: Caltrans watering less as drought continues
- Feb 3:
- North Bay homeowners slash water usage through creative conservation
- California drought: Biggest rainfall of 2014 soaks Bay Area
- Jan 31:
- California drought: State Water Project will deliver no water this summer
- Gov. Brown says flush less as California struggles with drought
- Drought shakes off winter for perilous early spring
- Jan 30:
- Obama pledges support amid California drought
- California wine industry reports robust 2013, but worries loom about drought
- Jan 29:
- Bay Area wakes up to drizzle as light rain appears for first time in more than a month
- Jan 28:
- California drought: 17 communities could run out of water within 60 to 120 days, state says
- Jan 27:
- Water oak trees if needed, but not too much
- Gold prospectors take advantage of California drought
- California drought: Bay Area water districts start asking urban residents to conserve
- Jan 26:
- After decades of payments, EBMUD may finally use its emergency water supply
- Jan 25:
- California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say
- Jan 22:
- Drought: California is a red state, if you're talking weather
- Jan 21:
- California drought: Tips for conserving water
- Jan 20:
- George Skelton: Drought offers an opportunity to consider California water policy
- Jan 18:
- Snow makers rescue big Sierra resorts as drought bakes smaller ones
- Jan 17:
- Brown declares California drought emergency
- California drought: Three more months of dry weather likely, National Weather Service announces
- Jan 16:
- Drought declared a natural disaster in California, 10 other states
- Jan 14:
- Drought imperils California salmon, steelhead
- California drought: What's causing it?
- Jan 10:
- Despite California drought, chances for water bond are evaporating
- Jan 8:
- Timm Herdt: Learning to adapt to droughts
- Jan 3:
- Barnidge: California droughts aren't nearly as scary as they used to be
- Dec 29:
- California drought deepens as another year's rains stay away
A "relatively weak" storm system will deliver the first measurable rain to the parched region in nearly two months, meteorologists say, but will add hardly a drop in the bucket as the region gets set to close the driest January in Bay Area history.
A series of showers will drop between one-quarter to one-third an inch of rain in San Jose, Oakland and cities in Contra Costa County beginning Wednesday afternoon, and will continue overnight into Thursday morning, said Christine Riley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Rainfall will likely persist on and off through Thursday, she said, and could linger into Friday morning.
Despite the precipitation's welcome arrival amid a statewide drought emergency, meteorologists were dismayed to see how little the rain will actually contribute to the ongoing crisis. The storm system will bring "just enough rain to dampen the ground," Riley said, "but won't make a dent in the drought."
"Right now we are on track to be the driest month in the state's history," said Riley, who added that the second driest was in 1920 with just one-tenth an inch of rain. "Right now, we are at one-one hundredth of an inch. We would need nine-one hundredths of an inch to meet that total, and with this rain, we will come really close."
According to Riley, there is no rain in the forecast after Friday, and any weak rain showers that may persist into the weekend "won't contribute in the slightest" to dwindling reservoir levels. Areas with an elevation of 3,000 feet or higher will see some shower activity with not a lot of accumulation, and will drop only a few inches of snow Thursday as the storm system moves southeast toward the California coast from the Gulf of Alaska.
In a drought emergency declaration Jan. 17, Gov. Jerry Brown urged California residents and business to reduce their water consumption by 20 percent in light of the record-breaking water scarcity and plummeting reservoir levels. The drought declaration also streamlined the rules for water agencies to transfer extra water from one part of the state to another, easing shortages, limited the landscaping of highways and directed the state to hire more seasonal firefighters.
"We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation," said Brown. "Hopefully, it will rain eventually. But in the meantime, we have to do our part."
Contact Erin Ivie at email@example.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.