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Driest year so far in southern California

Posted by californian 10 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 16, 07 at 13:45

that I can remember here in northern Orange County. Since July 1, 2006 to todays date of January 16, 2007 we have only had one inch of rain total. The weather report keeps predicting rain but when it hits we only get a few minutes of light drizzle that evaporates as soon as it hits. This was supposed to be an El Nino year but I don't know what happened to the rain. I have decided its almost useless to try to keep my lawn alive and will just let it die. I will keep watering my fruit trees, but won't waste anymore water on my banana plants.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Driest year so far in southern California

We've been breaking records over here too. Hottest, dryest. As I recall it used to be that if one side of the Pacific was in drought the other wasn't and it would swap back and forth fairly regularly. We've had water restrictions for a few years now.

RE: Driest year so far in southern California

  • Posted by gaalan z8 Atlanta (My Page) on
    Tue, May 22, 07 at 19:54

It seems pretty bad here, so I cannot imagine the problems you folks in California and Australia are having. My year to date rainfall here is 11.89". Normal for us to this point is 21.40". I've had 0.05" of rain over the last 10 days, with 1.69" since April 15. The forecasts for the next 15 days don't include any rain. They had predicted a La Nina pattern for us this summer, but that quickly went by the wayside. So for near future, it is a suffocating dome of high pressure not even a hurricane could crack!

RE: Driest year so far in southern California

There was a very brief heavy shower here between 4 and 4:30pm that dumped the huge amount of 0.04". This was the first measureable rain since May 16, bringing my total to 0.09" over the last 24 days. My year to date total now stands at 11.93", with normal year to date total being 23.14".

RE: Driest year so far in southern California

Drought in Northern Arizona is also a serious problem. Yet another year where we had very little monsoon last fall, hardly any snow or rain this past winter and spring, then dessicating strong winds the past few months. The last bit of rain we had was in early May and even the hardiest natives like junipers, scrub oaks, mesquite, creosote, agaves, yuccas, acacias, ocotillos, even the cactus are looking quite parched.

It has been challenging to keep the native plants as well as my own collection of container plants alive while trying to conserve water.

Trimming dead parts and pruning works to lessen fire danger and conserve plant energy, and grouping my pots on cedar 2x4's and blocks underneath a great big old, tall juniper allows the water draining from my containers to also provide water for the tree.

Gray water from the washer takes care of plants on one side of the house, but about once a month I have to drag the hose out the old fashioned way, have it running a trickle and move it around the native trees on the other side of the yard for a couple of days.

Slow watering in the early morning and late evening, and mulching has also helped a great deal. The yard looks tidy, albeit dry except for the fews areas of greenery, it certainly wouldn't win any prizes, but the birds and insects enjoy a cool drink of water and a snack, I can still pick a few fresh veggies, herbs and flowers, and I get to enjoy helping a wonderful little ecosystem survive.

RE: Driest year so far in southern California

I am watching a clump of Eucalyptus trees slowly dying from the drought on my neighbors property, with about a third of the leaves now turning red and brown from lack of water. An older clump on another neighbor property is doing better, probably because it has a massive root system developed over many years. The Chinese elms seem to be holding up pretty well too, but some other trees that I think may be mulberries are starting to turn yellow. I have a feeling that many trees in my area of Orange County, California that aren't lucky enough to have someone watering them will be dead by winter when we usually get some rain. The official figures are in for Orange County, only 2.2 inches of rain total from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, and it has been 446 days since we got an inch or more out of any one storm. Due to the fact that most of our rain storm totals during the past year were like a sixteenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch most of the little rain that did fall evaporated before it could sink in to the soil. Where I have dug in the soil I can see its completely dry. Even the weeds died in the parts of my yard where I didn't water.

RE: Driest year so far in southern California

Siberian elms - which are total weeds of our tree world around here are suffering too; Tamarisk, a totally noxious and virtually indestructable weed is also suffering, but only a tiny bit.

Thank goodness we are starting to get some monsoon rains here in Northern AZ - it's been just a little bit, in some places 1 1/2 - 2 inches the past few days, it has been a big relief and we need more!

Sadly, it seems like there is more virga as time goes by (rain that falls but doesn't reach the ground).

RE: Driest year so far in southern California

I am trying to turn over some of my water loving plants to native drought tolerant plants and grasses. We have a section on the side of the driveway that has really never done well with grass, so we are tearing it up to plant native grasses and other great plants. Went to a local nursery, Tree of LIfe in San Juan Capistrano. Great place. Can't wait to get them in. Need to get a rain barrel to collect what rain we do get!

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