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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 5:34 PM PDT

Very dry start to 2022 to date

By Reginald Stanley. Posted March 18, 2022, 8:54 PM.

The first three months of the year have featured a stunning lack of rainfall across the region, as well as the broader western United States.

The region's current extended dry spell began at the very start of the year, following a wet December. Since January 1, many WeatherCurrents stations have recorded less than one inch of precipitation through March 18, with some other locations receiving just over one inch. Anza recorded the greatest amount of precipitation since January 1, with 1.53 inches - while Moreno Valley was the driest location with only 0.30 inches recorded since January 1. The months of January, February and March are, on average, three of the four wettest months of the year. In 2022, all three of those months were exceptionally dry across the region, featuring starkly below average rainfall. The dry spell has put all WeatherCurrents stations below average for the 2021-2022 water year, with chances of making up for lost precipitation dwindling as the region enters Spring. The region does have a slight chance of showers Saturday night and early Sunday, however rainfall is expected to be light, if any rain falls at all. Very warm, dry weather is forecast to return to the region next week, under a strong ridge of high pressure.

December 2021, on the other hand, was not only a significantly wet month for the region, but also accounts for the bulk of the season's precipitation to-date. Across the WeatherCurrents network, December rainfall accounted for as high as 87 percent of the 2021-22 water year's total precipitation as of March 18, in Simi Valley. Conversely, December rainfall accounted for only 46 percent of Moreno Valley's current season total, although even this is nearly half of the season's precipitation. All of the remaining active WeatherCurrents stations with accurate season totals, as of March 18, also received the majority of the season's rainfall in December, with percentages of season totals ranging from 49 percent in East Hemet to 86 percent in Pinon Hills. October 2021 was the only other month of the season to feature any significant precipitation.

A very persistent, stubborn ridge of blocking high pressure over the northeastern Pacific Ocean has largely been responsible for our current extended dry period, and has been in place since the beginning of the year. The resulting widespread developing drought conditions are present across most of the western United States, with the January-February period being record dry across large areas of northern and central California, as well as northern Nevada, northwest Utah and southern Oregon. Strong ridging next week will keep weather dry, and particularly warm at times, with no significant changes in our overall dry pattern expected anytime soon.

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The French Valley, California weather pages are a service of WeatherCurrents. French Valley is located in southwestern Riverside County, California, north of Temecula, east of Murrieta, and south of Winchester. French Valley is bordered by Lake Skinner.
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