If Rain is Mother Nature’s Kiss, Here Is a Chart of her Love

You weren’t alone if Valentine’s weekend had you thinking of hearts and flowers. The question of how the year’s rain and snowfall may affect this spring’s wildflower show was also being asked by many.

Snow pack and rainfall make all the difference for the health of our forests, the water supply for our villages and the blooming of our treasured wildflowers.

Here is an eight-year rainfall chart compiled from precipitation readings at the home weather station of Jim and Fae Lumsden of Lebec (Eagles Perch, the Lumsden’s private in-holding property within Tejon Ranch). These figures include the most recent combined rain and snow precipitation data up to February 11, 2010.—Editor

Report by Jim Lumsden

This chart shows trends and month-to-month variations in precipitation from July 2002 to February 11, 2010.

A few things to note:

1) As of January 2010, we were ahead of 2004-05 at the same point in the season; 2004-05 is the wettest season since 2002 (the year I installed the station).

2) This year so far from July 2009 to February 11, 2010 is virtually tied with 2005-06, which ended as an average year, at 14.51 inches.

3) With 9.27 inches by February 11, this year still has a long way to go just to equal an average year’s precipitation.

4) The rain gage is a “Tipping Bucket” type, which does a good job measuring rain but is less accurate in measuring large snow falls.

5) Historical rain data back to 1898 can be viewed at www.wrh.noaa.gov/hnx/coop/tejonrch.htm.

That data is from records for the Old Tejon Headquarters near Arvin, at a much lower elevation than Eagles Perch Acres.

What might the rest of the year bring? Lumsden’s chart reminds us that some of the largest deluges here can come in April.

There can also be great differences between the east and west sides of the Grapevine freeway, so we invite others on the mountain to submit their cumulative totals for comparison.


This is part of the February 19, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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