Record dry conditions for California - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Record dry conditions for California

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - While this isn't the driest season on record for San Diego, there's still concern for California communities who are in desperate need of some wet weather. I visited our local national weather service office to discuss the severely sunny weather.

We haven't seen rain in the last three and a half weeks and as it stands now, 2013 will go down as San Diego's 18th driest on record since 1849.

"For the year of 2013, we are currently at 5.57 inches of normal. Normal for a calendar year is 10.34 inches, so we are 53 percent behind average," National Weather Service Meteorologist James Thomas said.

"California as a whole is in dire need of water. The Department of Water Resources reported only 20 percent of normal snow pack," he said.

Despite this drier than normal season, San Diego is better off than the rest of California. Many cities are dealing with severe drought conditions.

"In comparison we're actually doing quite well to our neighbors. L.A. has the driest year on record, Riverside, Santa Ana, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Cruz all have broken their all time records for the driest year," Thomas said.

While the Sierra Nevada Mountains supply most of California's water, here in the southern portion we rely on both the Sierra and Colorado rivers. Good news -- upper Colorado received nearly 100 percent of normal snowpack.

"Either the Sierra or Colorado, we depend on those two heavily for our drinkable water and irrigation," Thomas said.

Statistically, our wettest months are January and February, but keep in mind San Diego is practically a desert, classified as a semi-arid climate with an average annual rainfall of 10.34 inches.

"In a place like Rancho Bernardo, you might get a tenth of an inch of rain and at the coastline you might get barely a trace in some cases," Thomas said. "If you were to take away the greenery, the trees with the leaves, you'd be left with scrub brush and chaparral and that's it, it would look like a desert here in San Diego."

Despite a dry start to 2014, we still have a chance to get a decent amount of rain if everything lines up just right.

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