Lack of rain out west

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2013 will be one of the driest years on record for some areas in the western United States. But not in Arizona, even though not all cities are above normal on rainfall, it could be worse. Tucson for the year has seen 8.53" of rain, which will end the year just over 3" below normal. But Douglas has seen far above the normal amount of rain compared to an average year, almost 18" and that is about 5" above the normal. Phoenix is also sitting above average for 2013 at 8.42".

But it is a completely different story for other areas out west. Rainfall in central California and northern Nevada has been far less than average. Practically little rain has fallen since January first in both San Francisco and Sacramento. Both cities have seen less rain in 2013 then what we have seen this year in Tucson. San Francisco has seen under 4" and Sacramento is currently just above 5.80". Normally both cities see around 25" of rain a year.

Image of Folsom Lake which feeds water to Sacramento. Currently 20% capacity.

Folsom Lake is not the only lake in California sitting below average, Exchequer Reservoir is currently at 17% capacity and many other are well below normal. Click here for a look at other reservoirs in California.

Here are some cities out west with 2013 year to date rainfall and how far above/below in rain that city is:
City 2013 Rain    Normal to date    Departure from normal    Percent
Tucson 8.53" 11.50" -2.97" 74%
Phoenix 8.42" 7.91" +.51" 106%
Douglas 17.93" 13.01" +4.92" 138%
Yuma 3.42" 3.49" -.07" 98%
Flagstaff 24.79" 21.59" +3.20" 115%
Las Vegas 2.96" 4.11" -1.15" 72%
Los Angeles 3.65" 12.47" -8.82" 28%
San Diego 5.57" 10.09" -4.52" 55%
Sacramento 5.81" 18.07" -12.26" 32%
San Francisco 3.38" 20.09" -16.71" 17%