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- Feb 6:
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- Feb 5:
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- Feb 4:
- Gov. Jerry Brown calls congressional Republican drought bill 'divisive'
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- North Bay homeowners slash water usage through creative conservation
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- Jan 31:
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- Jan 30:
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- Jan 29:
- Bay Area wakes up to drizzle as light rain appears for first time in more than a month
- Jan 28:
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- Jan 27:
- Water oak trees if needed, but not too much
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- Jan 26:
- After decades of payments, EBMUD may finally use its emergency water supply
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- Jan 17:
- Gov. Jerry Brown declares drought: Social media reaction
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- Jan 16:
- Drought declared a natural disaster in California, 10 other states
- Jan 14:
- Drought imperils California salmon, steelhead
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- Despite California drought, chances for water bond are evaporating
- Jan 8:
- Timm Herdt: Learning to adapt to droughts
- Jan 3:
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- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.