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2019-2020 Rain Season Review and Totals

By Reginald Stanley. Posted July 1, 2020, 10:02 PM.

Another weak El Nino pattern established itself in the equatorial Pacific during 2019-2020, resulting in slightly above-average rainfall, with the majority of that rain falling in March and early April. Many locations saw season totals for 2019-2020 that were very similar to the previous year's totals in 2018-2019.

The 2019-2020 water year got off to a quiet, dry start amid an inactive monsoon during 2019. The region's first encounters with winter storms would not occur until late November, which would become somewhat frequent through the end of December. Many of the storms during that period were much colder than normal. The pattern changed to mildly warmer and much drier in January 2020, where it remained through the end of February. Season totals had begun their descent into below-average territory.

Not long after the start of March 2020, Southern California would see its wettest Spring in decades (however, nearly all rain fell in March and early April only). Storm after storm in March made it the wettest such month since the 1990s for most of the region. A six-day stormy period in early April further drenched an already rain-soaked landscape across the region, breaking daily and monthly rainfall records with it. In Temecula, April 2020 surpassed the previous wettest April on record there (2.28 inches in April 2006) by well over a mile, with a monthly total of 6.22 inches this year. Similar records were shattered elsewhere throughout the WeatherCurrents network. A single, stationary cut-off low was largely responsible for the wet weather in early April 2020. Season totals had largely recovered by the end of the month and were largely near-average.

An abrupt shift to warmer, dry weather began later in April, lasting well into May. May was dry this year, however several unseasonable troughs brought light showers to some parts of the region both early and near the end of June. According to the Climate Prediction Center in a June 29 update, previously weak El Nino conditions that were present during the winter of 2019-20 have since cooled and fallen back into ENSO-Neutral territory, where it is expected to last throughout the summer. The Climate Prediction Center also notes equal chances for the development of La Nina conditions going into Autumn 2020, as well as the chance that the ENSO remains neutral during that period.

Here are the rain totals for the WeatherCurrents network and associates. Season averages are taken only after a station has five complete years of precipitation data:

Location 2019-2020 Season Average Source
South Fallbrook 21.16"  15.12"  WeatherCurrents
De Luz 20.79"  15.78"  WeatherCurrents
East Highland 20.70"  N/A Peter Michas
Temecula Valley Wine Country 19.50"  N/A Jim Sappington
South Temecula 19.33"  13.03"  WeatherCurrents
French Valley 18.15"  10.93"  WeatherCurrents
East Hemet 18.10"  12.65"  WeatherCurrents
Wildomar 18.06" 1 9.05"  WeatherCurrents
Beaumont (Cherry Valley) 17.86"  15.26"  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Murrieta 17.56"  13.56"  WeatherCurrents
Lake Elsinore 17.20"  11.99"  WeatherCurrents
Simi Valley 15.93"  10.97"  WeatherCurrents
Anza 15.87"  12.00"  WeatherCurrents
Central Murrieta 15.82"  11.92"  Reginald Stanley
Moreno Valley 15.54"  10.59"  WeatherCurrents
Perris 15.51" 1 N/A WeatherCurrents
Pinon Hills 13.36"  8.31"  WeatherCurrents
Riverside (Presidential Park) 12.60"  9.39"  WeatherCurrents
San Jacinto 12.50"  10.36"  WeatherCurrents
Riverside (Orangecrest) 11.91"  N/A WeatherCurrents
  1. Both Wildomar and Perris have missing precipitation data for June 2020.
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