A list of the 10 driest Februarys on record in San Jose, with data going back to 1893.

The Bay Area has experienced February dry spells before, including twice from 2013 to 2016 during California’s historic drought when rainfall totals were drastically below the monthly average.

But this February could close with a distinction most in the Bay Area would like to avoid. This could become the first February in more than 150 years with no rainfall.

The only major Bay Area city to go the entire month of February without rain is San Francisco in 1864. San Francisco has the longest set of weather data in the Bay Area, going back to 1850.

“Lincoln was president the last time San Francisco had an 0 for February,” said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services in Saratoga.

A list of the 10 driest Februarys on record in San Jose, with data going back to 1893. Data from the National Weather Service.

In San Jose, which has weather data going back to 1893, the record low for February rainfall is .02 inches, in 1953. San Jose and San Francisco, along with most other Bay Area cities including Napa, Oakland, Santa Rosa, Concord and Livermore, are bone dry for the month.

And there’s not so much as a sprinkle in sight. Both the short-term and long-range forecasts suggest no major storms on the horizon.

“It’s looking like through the end of the month, we may stay in a dry pattern,” said Roger Gass, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey. “Even if we did receive any rainfall, all indications are it would be minimal at best.”

Null agreed with the forecast, though added that extended forecast computer models are hinting at a chance of rain in the next 10 to 14 days.

“But we’ve seen that the last few weeks,” Null said. “It’s possible we could end up with nothing more in the month. I don’t see any major systems. If we get anything for February, it’s going to end up being pretty small.”

February opened with a stretch of record-high daily temperatures, resulting in San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Rosa to observe the warmest start to the year on record, according to the weather service.

With no rainfall so far this month and one of the driest Decembers on record, the entire state remains in a precipitation deficit. Oakland is at 61 percent of normal, San Francisco 59 percent, Santa Rosa 56 percent and San Jose 50 percent, according to the weather service.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News


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Will this become the driest February on record in Bay Area?

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