Start of the water year reveals below-average precipitation for Kern River watershed

December 1, 2022
by Lois Henry
Kern River watershed has less than average amount of precipitation.
Lois Henry

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The first of seven monthly Kern River Snow and Water reports put out by water watcher Scott Williams arrived in email boxes Dec. 1 and the news was, fairly, well – “eh.”

The watershed is below average in terms of precipitation but not that below average, according to Williams’ report, which uses a compilation of data from multiple public websites. He typically publishes the monthly updates based on water data from Nov. 1 through May 31.

The North Fork of the Kern has 3.71 inches of precip, or 86% of average, and the South Fork has 1.82 inches, or 73 percent of average, according to the report.

With storms arriving this week, there’s a glimmer of hope for more. But Williams’ report also notes there’s a 76% chance of a La Niña winter this year, which typically means drier weather.

The hope is it won’t be as bad as last year when Williams stopped compiling his reports after publishing the April edition writing: “Due to the lack of snow, I give up and this will be the last edition in 2022. See you next year!”

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

SJV Water is an independent, nonprofit news site dedicated to covering water in the San Joaquin Valley. Get inside access to SJV Water by becoming a member.


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