If you'd like to go sip your rosé and simply enjoy this unseasonably warm February weather, be our guest. But otherwise, you can read about the downside and enjoy it a little bit less.
Meteorologists are sounding their alarm bells over what looks to be a completely dry February, harkening back to the drought days of just a couple winters back — when surprise winter beach days were both loved lamented as signs of climate change and sure wildfire doom. Forecasters say that there's no rain on the horizon for Northern California in the next two weeks, and while things could certainly change and March could be a wet one, it's time once again to remember fire season.
"Once we get out of February, the likelihood for rainfall trends downward," says National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass, speaking to the Merc. "It’s going to hurt our overall rainfall totals. Rain deficits continue to increase as far as where we should be this time of year."
The Chronicle seconds that today, but another NWS meteorologist, Scott Rowe, sounds a note of hope saying, "There might be some chance — a small chance — a little system in the Pacific Northwest will dip into Northern California over the weekend. But even if it happens, it won’t be very wet."
UC Merced climate and fire scientist LeRoy Westerling is a bit more negative, telling the Chronicle, "It’s really dry right now, and that’s making it more likely we’ll have a dry fire season and worse conditions this year."
One scary data point: The only other recorded time that San Francisco recorded zero rainfall in February was in 1864. And while December and January are more reliably wet, February is typically our third rainiest month of the year.
California's forests, also, are still a year or two shy of fully recovering from the seven-year drought that ended in 2017. But, in the good news column, the state's water supplies are at about average right now, so a below-average year for rain- and snowfall will just be kind of bad with regard to reservoirs.
So, sure, it might be a park day today! And this will probably be a lovely weekend for local road trips and wine tasting. (It's President's Day Weekend, though, so take heed and use Waze.) Just remember, in this weather prone state of ours, there's usually a price to be paid!