Valley gets more rain, but no new record

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Valley gets more rain, but no new recordStorms brought plenty of rain to the Indian Wells Valley last weekend — just not enough to break records.

The National Weather Service published its precipitation-collection data Saturday afternoon, which showed a valley-high of 1.94 inches of rain in southwest Inyokern and low of .47 inches in China Lake during the first 24 hours of the storm.

“We got .77 inches at the airfield, which is the official measurement we go by,” said China Lake Meteorologist Tamera Walters.

She said that although it’s possible the NWS numbers are accurate, many weather stations around town are not monitored closely enough to verify those records.

“I know there are areas around the valley that have higher precipitation amounts than we report,” said Walters.

“As an example, the day that we got hail in town — and it was really coming down — we recorded almost nothing out at the airfield. But for our official numbers, we have just about 1 inch for the month of February.

“We should see a little more rain starting Saturday night, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough to break our record.”

Indian Wells Valley weathered the storms better than some other California communities. While officials are still on high alert for the vulnerable Oroville Dam in Northern California, streets and highways in Southern California suffered massive damage over the weekend — most notably newly reconstructed sections of Interstate 15 near Cajon Pass.

California Department of Re-source reports are citing much higher than average snow pack for the season — including 45.6 inches (213 percent of normal for this date) in the Southern Sierra.

Weather service officials continue to express cautious optimism in seeing the state’s historic drought come to an end — but remind residents that it will take time to climb out of the precipitation deficit accumulated over the last few years.

Pictured: Tuesday’s stormy sunset is reflected in a pool of water left behind the storm in Inyokern. -- Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2017-02-24