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Winter is here, so what can we expect this season?

We are starting our winter a little dry and a little warm, but more rain is in the forecast. Some of our wettest months are coming up, so hopefully we can catch a break. Our coldest months are coming up.

Posted: Dec 21, 2020 7:07 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2020 7:07 PM

CHICO, Calif.- We are starting our winter a little dry and a little warm, but more rain is in the forecast. Some of our wettest months are coming up, so hopefully, we can catch a break. Our coldest months are coming up.

Meteorological winter runs from December through February but the official start for winter, as determined by the winter solstice, starts today.

Our water year in California starts October 1st. Usually, by the time winter starts, we see at least 10 inches of rain but this year, Redding has only seen a little over 3 inches of rain. We're definitely on the dry side of things right now, but it could be worse. The driest we've been at this point in time was with only 0.14 inches of rain in the books. The wettest we've been was when we saw 20 inches of rain from October 1st to the start of winter.

Usually, we see temperatures in the mid-50s this time of year, for the start of winter. The average for today's date in Redding, which has been keeping records since the 1800s, is 54 degrees. Today we've reached the 60s, which is a bit warmer than average. The warmest day ever on the first day of winter was a warm 72 degrees and the coldest maximum temperature in Redding on today's date was actually below freezing at a frigid 29 degrees.

Now that winter is here, what can we expect over the next 3 months?

Winter officially ends on March 20, with the start of Spring.

January through March usually average highs in the mid-50s in January to the mid-60s in March. At this point, there is no reason to assume we wouldn't still see this over our winter season.

Overnight lows average in the mid-to-upper 30s in January and February then finally warm into the low-40s in March.

Rain is the real gift of winter in California. We usually average 4 to 6 inches of rain each month in January, February, and March. If we see even the average amount of rain in winter, it would be a blessing. Right now, we are on the dry side of things, so the hope is we can see more than the average over our winter season, to catch up.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3095814

Reported Deaths: 35549
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles104602114641
San Bernardino2587421561
Riverside2558082739
San Diego2197312222
Orange2178492546
Santa Clara959361158
Kern87240572
Fresno83591968
Sacramento816871128
Alameda69107842
Ventura63413462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43392773
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo33207309
San Francisco29665274
Solano26191108
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25380486
Merced24570316
Sonoma24262242
Kings19588148
Placer17584186
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13585151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10852138
Shasta9750123
Butte9582128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa773145
Lassen519916
San Benito504246
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323874
Mendocino319232
Amador303631
Lake264631
Humboldt245825
Glenn195520
Colusa17969
Calaveras163723
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
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Light rain and snow is expected in your Friday forecast. We'll be mostly dry and warmer on Saturday. A more substantial system with lower snow levels is in your forecast for Sunday into early Monday. Long range models are showing very wet weather for the middle of next week.
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