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Storm totals: March 16th-19th, 2012

By John C. Toman. Posted March 19, 2012, 11:03 PM.

The final storm of the winter season, and the first major one since February, was the most memorable of the year to date.

The system, covering three days, was cold and windy, much like a January or February storm and little like a typical March storm. Rainfall was heavy, especially on Saturday (St. Patrick's Day). Snow levels fell to 2,000 feet in some locations on Sunday, and many locations in Southern California's inland valleys reported hail or graupel. Showers continued into Monday morning inland, and into Monday evening in San Diego County.

At the top of the list for WeatherCurrents 17 stations was Beaumount (Cherry Valley), with 1.94". De Luz was next with 1.52", then Temecula (1.32"), Lake Elsinore (1.32"), Fallbrook (1.28") and Murrieta (1.25").

Even traditionally dry areas had significant totals. Menifee (0.72"), Perris (0.75"), Riverside (Canyon Crest) (0.82"), Hemet (0.82") and French Valley (0.85") were at the bottom of a very wet list.

More towards the coast, San Diego's City Heights neighborhood recorded 1.14", with significant Monday activity lasting into the evening.

To the west, Simi Valley registered a healthy 1.06".

Hail and graupel reports were received on Sunday for Temecula (Vail Ranch), Hemet (Valle Vista), French Valley, Mount Russell (at 1,166 feet, near Moreno Valley and March Air Reserve Base), and the Temecula Valley Wine Country. Snow accumulated in Beaumont, on the Ortega Highway, and on the Santa Rosa Plateau (courtesy Michael Mojarro of

The storm was not a "March Miracle", however. Although the storm brought March totals to near normal, rain totals for the season remained acutely below normal across the region, thanks to a long dry period that lasted from December through February. The rain deficit remained between five and seven inches, depending on the community.

A dry week is ahead, but another, much weaker storm could bring some light rain next Sunday and Monday.

Here are the rain totals for the WeatherCurrents network and associates:

Location Storm  Season  Source
Beaumont (Cherry Valley) 1.94"  5.18"1  WeatherCurrents
Temecula Valley Wine Country 1.70"  7.96"  Jim Sappington
De Luz 1.52"  10.21"  WeatherCurrents
South Temecula 1.32"  7.26"  WeatherCurrents
Lake Elsinore 1.32"  6.94"  WeatherCurrents
South Fallbrook 1.28"  7.84"  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Murrieta 1.25"  7.06"  WeatherCurrents
South Fallbrook (Canonita) 1.22"  7.70"  R.C. Blankenhorn
San Diego (City Heights) 1.14"  2.53"2  WeatherCurrents
San Bernardino 1.13"  6.28"  WeatherCurrents
Wildomar 1.13"  6.28"  WeatherCurrents
Simi Valley 1.06"  6.22"  WeatherCurrents
Moreno Valley 1.01"  4.84"  WeatherCurrents
Jurupa Valley 0.95"  3.51"  WeatherCurrents
East Murrieta 0.86"  5.81"  Reginald Stanley
French Valley 0.85"  6.30"  WeatherCurrents
East Hemet 0.83"  6.61"  WeatherCurrents
East San Jacinto 0.82"  6.56"  Monty Parrott
Riverside (Canyon Crest) 0.77"  4.57"  WeatherCurrents
Perris 0.75"  4.77"  WeatherCurrents
Menifee 0.72"  5.30"  WeatherCurrents
  1. Beaumont's rain record was restarted after re-location of the weather station there.
  2. The City Heights station began recording rainfall on February 11, 2012.
A few hours after graupel came down in South Temecula

A few hours after graupel came down on March 18th (courtesy Marsha Moran)

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