This is not what the rain gods ordered this winter when it comes to getting out of California’s drought woes. San Francisco experienced a rain-free January for the first time in recorded history. Here’s some of the San Francisco Chronicle’s report, including some salvaged good news:
“We’re really concerned,” said apple grower Stan Devoto, owner of Devoto Gardens in Sebastopol.
Most of his orchards are dry farmed, meaning they rely on rain rather than irrigation. Without rain, the trees could die. Last year, he used a drip system on some trees to keep them alive.
But Devoto is also worried about the warm weather. Apple trees need 600 to 1,000 hours of below 45-degree weather and they haven’t gotten that this year.
“It’s definitely going to affect the size of the fruit,” he said.
Yet even without a drop of rain in January, the Bay Area is officially above normal in rainfall for this time of year, Null said.
San Francisco is at 112 percent of normal while San Jose is at 131 percent, thanks to the deluge of 15 inches or more of rain in December.
But it’s going to have to start raining soon to maintain a normal pace for the season.
It looks like the area will some real rain Thursday evening or Friday. If it does, San Francisco will snap what will be 43 days of dry weather — the second longest winter dry spell.
The longest dry spell in winter months lasted 60 days, from Nov. 17, 1876, to Jan. 15, 1877, Null said.