This morning I spoke with Matthew Kidwell, a forecaster at the National Weather Service office on Woodley Island. I asked him with all the rain we’ve been having on the North Coast are we still in drought? The answer is complex. Since July we are above normal for our rainfall totals. However, since January, we are still behind. The “short term” drought is over for us. However we would need about one and one half times normal rainfall, over 60 inches for the year to be fully out of the long term drought.
Later this week we expecting a lot of rain, especially in Mendocino County. We are talking up to 8 inches! This will mean a rapid rise in our rivers. The Eel River at Ferbridge is expected to crest at just a hair’s breadth under flood stage, 19.1 feet by midnight on Friday. Kidwell says the bigger issue for residents will be small stream flooding. Be on the lookout for that.