Skip to main content

KPBS Radio is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in temporary signal outages.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Tokyo Olympics

Southern California Rainfall Likely To Be Below Average For Year

Rain from a winter storm on a car windshield in San Diego, Jan. 14, 2019.

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: Rain from a winter storm on a car windshield in San Diego, Jan. 14, 2019.

Despite a storm heading for San Diego County this weekend and an "atmospheric river" due to hit the Central California coast the middle of next week, Southern California is still likely to remain parched this year.

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has placed the odds of reaching an average amount of precipitation in Southern California this year at just 20%.

The region has received around 40% of precipitation of normal relative to this point in the water year — which begins in October and ends in September — and somewhere between 10% and 15% of its normal precipitation for the entire year.

Julie Kalansky, the operations manager at the university's Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, told City News Service Friday the region's precipitation is well-below normal and snowpack is "extremely low" for this time of year — in the lowest 10th percentile.

The region receives a significant amount of rain and snowfall during a few big storms. The smaller storm which should hit the region Saturday could bring between a half-inch and 2 inches of rainfall.

There's a possibility a much larger storm — known as an atmospheric river — next week could bring more, but it is still too soon to tell where the storm will hit. It could skip Southern California altogether, leaving the region's water table even further behind schedule.

"If we do not get any precipitation between the two events, the one this weekend and the one next week, and it continues to remain dry, it could lead to an earlier start to the fire season this year," Kalansky said.

Meanwhile, in anticipating a wet weekend, San Diego County announced several locations where residents in the unincorporated area can pick up free sandbags.

For sand and bags, residents can go to the following locations:

  • Bonita: Bonita-Sunnyside Fire Station: 4900 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA 91902, P: 619-479-2346
  • Boulevard: Boulevard Fire Station #47: 40080 Ribbonwood Road, Boulevard, CA 91905, P: 619-390-2020
  • De Luz: 39431 De Luz Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028 P: 760-728-2422
  • Dulzura: Dulzura Fire Station #30: 17304 Highway 94, Dulzura, CA 91917, P: 619-468-3391
  • Fallbrook: Pala Mesa Fire Station #4, 4375 Pala Mesa Drive, Fallbrook, CA 92028, P: 760-723-2024
  • Julian: Julian-Cuyamaca: Fire Station #56, 3407 Hwy 79, Julian, CA 92036, P: 760-765-0510
  • Palomar Mountain: Fire Station #79, 21610 Crestline Road, Palomar Mtn., CA 92060, P: 760-742-3701
  • Ramona: Ramona Fire Station #82, 3410 Dye Road, Ramona, CA 92065, P: 760-789-0107
  • Rincon: Rincon Fire Station #70: 16971 Highway 76, Pauma Valley, CA 92061, P: 760-742-3243
  • Valley Center: Valley Center Fire Station #2, 28205 N. Lake Wohlford Road, Valley Center, CA 92082, P: 760-751-7605
  • Warner Springs: Sunshine Summit Fire Station #59, 35227 Highway 79, Warner Springs, CA 92086, P: 760-782-9113

Sandbags only are available at these location:

  • Alpine: Alpine Fire Station #17 1364 Tavern Road Alpine, CA 91901 P: 619-445-2635
  • Borrego Springs: Ocotillo Wells Fire Station #54 5841 Highway 78, Borrego Springs, CA 92004 P: 760-767-7430
  • Campo: Campo Fire Station #40 31577 Highway 94, Campo, CA 91906 P: 619-478-5516
  • Campo: Lake Morena Fire Station #42 29690 Oak Drive, Campo, CA 91906 P: 619-478-5960
  • Descanso: Descanso Fire Station #45 24592 Viejas Grade Road, Descanso, CA 91916 P: 619-445-7508
  • El Cajon: Harbison Canyon Fire Station #24 551 Harbison Canyon Road, El Cajon, CA 92019 P: 619-445-5001
  • Escondido: Deer Springs Fire Station #13 10308 Meadow Glen Way East, Escondido, CA 92026 P: 760-751-0820
  • Escondido: Miller Fire Station #15 9127 W. Lilac Road, Escondido, CA 92025 P: 760-728-8532
  • Fallbrook: De Luz Fire Station #16 39431 De Luz Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028 P: 760-728-2422
  • Jacumba: Jacumba Fire Station #43 1255 Jacumba St., Jacumba, CA 91934 P: 619-766-4535
  • Jamul: Deerhorn Fire Station #37 2383 Honeysprings Road, Jamul, CA 91935 P: 619-468-3030
  • Laguna: Mt. Laguna Fire Station #49 10385 Sunrise Highway, Mt Laguna, CA 91948 P: 619-473-8281
  • Pine Valley: Pine Valley Fire Station #44 28850 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley, CA 91962 P: 619-578-6699
  • Portrero: Portrero Fire Station #31 25130 Highway 94, Potrero, CA 91963 P: 619-478-5544
  • Ranchita: Ranchita Fire Station #58 37370 Montezuma Valley Road, Ranchita, CA 92066 P: 760-782-3467 *(Not staffed 24/7)
  • San Marcos: Deer Springs Fire Station #12 1321 Deer Springs Road, San Marcos, CA 92069 P: 760-741-5512
  • San Pasqual: San Pasqual Fire Station #84 17701 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92025 P: 760-480-9924
  • Warner Springs: Warner Springs Fire Station #52 31049 Highway 79, Warner Springs, CA 92086 P: 760-782-3560

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.