2013: Driest Year


Since 1894, when California began keeping rainfall records, this past year has been the driest yet. The year, as opposed to the grass or rainy season, runs January through December.

During the 2012-13 grass season, October 2012 through April 2013, Dry Creek received less than 10” of rain when the average precipitation during this period is around 16”, ( 8-year average ) leaving very little dry feed to sustain cattle during the summer months. To date for the 2013-14 grass season, Dry Creek has only received an inch. Less than eleven inches for the two seasons combined, leaving only four months in a grass season that has yet to begin.

Impacts to California, the richest agricultural region in the world, have only just begun. Typically, snowfall in the Sierra Nevada range freezes during December and January to provide a slow release of water to meet demands from agriculture and metropolitan areas during the year. With what little snow that stuck earlier this month, all but melted, the Great Western Divide shows mostly granite. Heavy late snows increase the chance for flood.

No matter what happens, the stage is set for what we’ve never seen before.

3 responses to “2013: Driest Year

  1. Laurie Schwaller

    Scary, isn’t it?

    Meanwhile, Happy New Year — as much as possible.


  2. Gosh heard we will be missing you this year, bummer.

    Our Michael is trying out in Las Vegas for the national rugby team right before Elko so we’ll be doing the dead run.

    Wondering if there will be oranges this year. Figuring not but would like to know for sure. Todd isn’t answering.

    Praying for rain,



    • Good for Michael, how I loved the game! Knowing he’s playing rejuvenates this old flesh.

      With what scuttlebutt I hear, I suspect the citrus industry is still sorting out last month’s freeze, trying to determine what’s left of the crop. I’m guessing he’ll have some. See you guys then.

      We’ll miss Elko terribly, our annual vacation with good friends who speak our language… our carrot all season long, our reward for tending to business, but it’s not in the stars this year.

      Happy New Year to you both.


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