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2013 About to Become Driest Year Since 1917

Portrait of a dry year. A National Weather Service precipitation map for 2013. The warmer the color, the more rain that fell.
Portrait of a dry year. A National Weather Service precipitation map for 2013. The warmer the color, the more rain that fell.
by Kari Hulac

If the daily general Bay Area forecast — sunny skies likely — is starting to feel repetitive, you're not imagining anything.

If the pattern holds as predicted, San Francisco will break its all-time calendar year record for the driest year on record.

What's more, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Charles Bell, researchers recently discovered that the year scientists had been referencing as the driest — 1976 — actually is not correct.

Because precipitation values from 1973 to 1982 contain errors, data from those years won't count, making 1917, when San Francisco got 8.96 inches of rain, the last known driest year.

"The moisture profile will remain bleak," says Friday's NWS forecast discussion, "and will not support rainfall. Ongoing dry conditions appear likely heading into the New Year."

But enjoy it while you can. According to the bible of weather predictions, the Old Farmer's Almanac, our winter will be "much rainier and cooler than normal, with mountain snowfall much greater than normal. Most of the rain, snow, and storminess will come in January and February, when storm damage will be a concern."


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