Monthly precipitation outlook for March. | Graphics by NOAA

After experiencing the 12th driest January on record and an unseasonably dry February, Eureka is forecast to receive above normal rainfall in March, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center announced today.

Hydrologist Kathleen Zontos with Eureka’s National Weather Service Office told the Outpost that the 30-day March forecast shows a 50 to 60 percent chance of above-normal rainfall for the North Coast.

“The average rainfall for the month of March in Eureka is 5.75 inches,” Zontos said. “The climate Prediction Center March forecast is essentially saying there’s a chance we could observe more than 5.75 inches.”

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map.

The wet weather is good news for the drought-stricken Pacific Northwest. Despite Humboldt’s ample December snowfall, the county is currently in various stages of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Most coastal regions of the county are in a state of moderate drought. The county’s eastern areas are experiencing severe drought. Northwestern Humboldt — along with much of Del Norte County — are observing abnormally dry weather.

Current drought monitor map for California.

Without the forecasted rain, California could see the driest three years on record — similar to the five-year drought that ended in 2016. However, the latest weather predictions offer hope that this year’s drought will be less severe for areas of Northern California.

“Any remaining potential rains will help with the drought status, but it wont totally remove it,” Zontos said.

The region also has a 33 to 40 percent chance of below normal temperatures for March. The colder temperatures are in line with the current La Niña weather pattern, which the Climate Prediction Center anticipates has a 77 percent chance of persisting into May. The weather pattern reportedly has a 56% chance of shifting back to ENSO neutral conditions (weather not associated with La Niña or El Niño) in the summer months.

Monthly temperature outlook for March.