There it is: what you might refer to idiomatically as the sum total of Berkeley rainfall — or at least the rainfall we have seen here in the North Berkeley flatlands — for the entire month of January so far. When the drizzle started coming down last Saturday, I grabbed the camera and ran out to take a picture. It was just enough to moisten the pavement or the bottom of a rain gauge or, as above, to bead up on windshields.
And from what the weather forecasters, the paragons of prognosticatory pessimism, are saying, this is the only rain we can expect to see through the end of the month. Which means we’re starting 2014 with the driest January on record. Here’s a brief synopsis of where the rain season stands from the National Weather Service’s Bay Area forecast discussion:
SAN FRANCISCO`S CURRENT WATER YEAR TOTAL IS 2.11" WHICH IS NOW THE THE DRIEST WATER YEAR TOTAL TO DATE ON RECORD. THE OLD RECORD WAS 2.26" THROUGH JANUARY 15TH SET BACK IN 1917. SAN FRANCISCO IS RUNNING AROUND 9" BEHIND AN AVERAGE YEAR. IF NO ADDITIONAL RAINFALL IS RECORDED BY THE END OF THE MONTH, SAN FRANCISCO WILL BE 11.50" BEHIND NORMAL. SAN FRANCISCO AVERAGES AROUND 8 DAYS IN JANUARY WHERE MORE THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH OF RAINFALL IS REPORTED. THIS YEAR WE HAVE HAD ZERO DAYS SO FAR. IF THAT HOLDS, IT WILL MARK THE FIRST TIME IN SAN FRANCISCO`S HISTORY THAT AT LEAST ONE DAY IN JANUARY DID NOT PICK UP MORE THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH.
And that, friends, kinds of puts things in perspective. What we’re seeing now hasn’t been seen since 1849, the beginning of San Francisco’s rain record.