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2021-2022 Rain Season Review and Totals

By Reginald Stanley. Posted July 1, 2022, 8:13 PM.

California witnessed another La Nina winter, for the second time in a row during the 2021-2022 water year, with the resultant seasonal rainfall for much of the region once again ending below-average.

Most WeatherCurrents stations with accurate season totals finished the 2021-2022 water year with less than 10 inches of rainfall - however, in the majority of locations, seasonal rainfall for 2021-2022 still exceeded that of the previous year, 2020-2021. For virtually all locations across the region, December 2021 was the wettest period of the winter, where a significant portion of the season's total rainfall fell alone. October 2021 was the only other month of the season with even semi-consistent storm patterns. Outside of those two months, remained a largely inactive, quiet rainy season. November was kept dry by a persistent blocking pattern throughout the entire month, and following the region's wet December, a stubborn dry pattern once again gripped much of the entire state in January - and for most of the remainder of the water year. A small number of mostly weak systems managed to pad season totals in February and March, with one thunderstorm-laden event in late March being somewhat notable. Much of the region last saw measurable precipitation in April.

Season totals exceeded 12 inches at two WeatherCurrents stations, in Simi Valley and Anza. However, Anza's season total is not considered to be accurate due to overreporting rainfall in December, and that season total is likely around 3 inches higher than it should be (roughly 9 inches). Simi Valley, like much of the Los Angeles Basin south and east of it, benefited greatly from one particular storm in late December - which badly missed the rest of the region. In East Highland, an exceptionally high season total of 29.20 inches was reported - due to unusually persistent, heavy rainfall during December (courtesy of Peter Michas). Elsewhere, season totals fell short of 10 inches, and were generally within 50 to 80 percent of averages. Areas around the Temecula Valley generally recorded just over 8 or 9 inches for the season, including Temecula Valley's Wine Country with 9.97 inches (courtesy of Jim Sappington). The eastern valleys fared worse, with season totals mostly in the 5-7 inch range. An exception to this rule was Moreno Valley, where 8.81 inches was recorded for the season. WeatherCurrents' station in Perris recorded the lowest season total in the WeatherCurrents network this year, with only 5.16 inches. San Jacinto was not far behind with 5.19 inches.

The Climate Prediction Center issued an advisory on June 9, stating the La Nina conditions were favored to continue through at least the end of the year. If the La Nina does indeed continue, there is potential for not only the next winter to be under La Nina influence yet again, but it could be the first three-year La Nina that has occurred in over 20 years. The three-year La Nina from 1998-99 through 2000-01 was the last such event. La Nina winters are historically associated with drier-than-average conditions for California, although this is not always the case. Additionally, whether the region will experience an active monsoon-influenced summer remains to be seen.

Here are the season totals for the WeatherCurrents network and associates. WeatherCurrents stations in Anza, Lake Elsinore, Beaumont (Cherry Valley), De Luz, Riverside (Presidential Park) and Wildomar were excluded due to inaccuracies or extended station outages there. Season averages were only calculated for stations with five or more years of complete precipitation data:

Location 2021-2022 Season Average Source
East Highland 29.20"  13.30" 1 Peter Michas
Simi Valley 12.01"  10.31" 2 WeatherCurrents
Temecula Valley Wine Country 9.97"  15.06" 1 Jim Sappington
South Temecula 9.18"  12.49"  WeatherCurrents
South Fallbrook 9.13"  14.33"  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Murrieta 9.12"  12.88"  WeatherCurrents
Moreno Valley 8.81"  10.13"  WeatherCurrents
French Valley 8.62"  10.20"  WeatherCurrents
Central Murrieta 8.05"  10.29"  Reginald Stanley
East Hemet 7.15"  12.17"  WeatherCurrents
Pinon Hills 6.51"  N/A WeatherCurrents
Riverside (Orangecrest) 5.94"  N/A WeatherCurrents
San Jacinto 5.19"  N/A WeatherCurrents
Perris 5.16"  8.80"  WeatherCurrents
  1. Season averages do not include 2021-2022 season.
  2. Simi Valley season average skewed about four inches too low due to excessive dry seasons.
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The Hemet weather pages are a service of WeatherCurrents. Hemet, California is located in the San Jacinto Valley, in western Riverside County, at the foot of the San Jacinto mountains.
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