Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.
By: Christopher C. Burt , 8:45 PM GMT on December 03, 2012
California Storm Wrap-Up
The five-day series of storms, involving three systems in all between November 28-December 2, that affected central and northern California finally ended on Sunday. Some very impressive precipitation amounts were recorded in the central and especially northern regions of the state but damage and flooding was minimal thanks to periods of calm between each storm system.
In general, the models ended up being fairly accurate in the amount of precipitation that accumulated across the state, with the exception of the immediate San Francisco Bay Area which received considerably less rain than forecast (about 75% of forecasted amounts). The peak rain report for the state was a five-day total of 23.40” at Brandy Creek in the Upper Sacramento Valley’s western division and the top 24-hour total 9.75” at Lakeshore in Shasta County between noon December 1 and noon December 2. Maximum wind gusts were confined to under 60 mph at low elevation locations (54 mph at San Francisco Airport with 38 mph sustained) although a gust to 73 mph was measured at Point San Pablo on the northeastern shore of San Francisco Bay. In the Sierra Nevada a peak wind gust of 150 mph was reported on Saddleback Ridge Sunday morning. There were no reports of major flooding or significant landslips due to the intermittent nature of the rainfall.
Here are the final rain reports for major locations in central and northern California as compiled by Jan Null at Golden Gate Weather Services:
Below are the top rain reports for secondary hydro stations in the various water regions of the state. These are for the period of November 28-December 2 and compiled by Jan Null. For Jan’s comprehensive list of state storm totals please check http://ggweather.com/5day.htm
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: 20.40” at Honeydew
SHASTA LAKE INFLOW: 21.36” at Lakeshore
WEST SIDE UPPER SACRAMENTO RIVER: 23.40” at Brandy Creek
EAST SIDE UPPER SACRAMENTO: 8.23” at Lassen Lodge
NORTHERN AND CENTRAL SACRAMENTO: 6.23” at Redding Fire Station
CLEAR LAKE AND WEST SIDE LOWER SACRAMENTO RIVER: 11.04” at Trough Spring
NORTHERN SIERRA/FEATHER RIVER: 21.12” at Stirling City
NORTHERN SIERRA/YUBA RIVER: 14.84” at Huysink
CENTRAL SIERRA/SAN JOAUQUIN RIVER: 9.84” at Telegraph Hill
SACRAMENTO METRO AREA: 8.23” at Auburn (actually in the Sierra foothills)
SAN FRANCISCO BAY NORTH: 17.16” at Whispering Pines
SAN FRANCISCO BAY CENTRAL: 10.62” at Mt. Diablo
SAN FRANCISCO BAY SOUTH: 15.91” at Mt. Umunhum
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA COAST: 17.38” at Mining Ridge
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY: 2.98” at Stockton
This was a major storm system, probably the most significant in two years for most areas in the north and central portions of the state. However, being the first big wet storm of the season most of the moisture was well absorbed and welcome after a dry past year. Unfortunately, the very warm nature of the storms inhibited much in the way of snow accumulation in the Sierra so probably the storm has not contributed much to the state’s ‘water bank’ for next year’s dry season. Hopefully, we will see some just as wet but colder storms in the coming months.
KUDOS: Jan Null of Golden Gate Weather Services for keeping track of the myriad precipitation reports during this event. A daunting task!
Christopher C. Burt
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