Lack of rain out west

Posted: Updated:

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%

  • Weather BlogMore>>

  • This Arizona spot sees more freezing nights than Flagstaff

    This Arizona spot sees more freezing nights than Flagstaff

    Thursday, September 21 2017 7:38 PM EDT2017-09-21 23:38:37 GMT

    There is one place in particular that sees quite a few nights with overnight lows below freezing, 241 to be exact!  Bellemont, just outside of Flagstaff, sees more freezing nights than cities in Alaska and Minnesota. 

    More >

    There is one place in particular that sees quite a few nights with overnight lows below freezing, 241 to be exact!  Bellemont, just outside of Flagstaff, sees more freezing nights than cities in Alaska and Minnesota. 

    More >
  • Fall colors about to arrive in Arizona

    Fall colors about to arrive in Arizona

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 9:05 PM EDT2017-09-21 01:05:44 GMT
    (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    We may have to wait a little longer for fall to arrive in Arizona, but when it does, it's AMAZING. And that includes the fall colors. Yes, even in Arizona we get those reds, golds and yellows. It just takes a little bit of a road trip from the Valley to find them. 

    More >

    We may have to wait a little longer for fall to arrive in Arizona, but when it does, it's AMAZING. And that includes the fall colors. Yes, even in Arizona we get those reds, golds and yellows. It just takes a little bit of a road trip from the Valley to find them. 

    More >
  • The state of the climate in 2016

    The state of the climate in 2016

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 11:52 PM EDT2017-09-20 03:52:56 GMT
    An undated photo of arctic ice. (Source: NASA)An undated photo of arctic ice. (Source: NASA)

    The latest report on the climate from the American Meteorological Society focuses on 2016.

    More >

    The latest report on the climate from the American Meteorological Society focuses on 2016.

    More >