The recent storm that flowed through San Luis Obispo County over the last several days brought a steady, much-needed soaking to the drought-parched region — with one spot totaling double digits.
Since the rain began falling on Thursday, Rocky Butte in the northern coastal mountains above San Simeon received nearly 11 inches of rain. Most other areas of the county saw at least 1.5 to as much as 5 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
That’s helped bring local totals close to where they should be for the “rain year,” which runs from July 1 through June 30 — meaning we are almost halfway through.
For example, as of right now, San Luis Obispo has received 4.34 inches of rain, which is 75% of what its normal rainfall should be by the end of December, 5.75 inches.
Paso Robles has received 2.88 inches, or 80.9% of what its six-month average of 3.56 inches should be by Dec. 31.
Overall, some SLO County locations have already made a sizable dent in their expected totals for the year.
Arroyo Grande has already received a third of its expected rainfall for the entire year, while Cambria is at 30%, Templeton is at 22% and SLO is at 14%, according to the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department.
That’s good news, because the rainiest months of the county’s rain year are still ahead. So, if storms like the one that happened over the first weekend of December continue, the region could see a normal rainfall year after years of drought.
That, however, is a big if. Last year, a promising wet December was followed by weeks of dry skies.
As for the short term, SLO County still has a chance for a bit more rain this week.
The forecast called for a slight chance of showers later Monday, according to the Weather Service, followed by more likely showers on Tuesday, with some areas of the county expected to see up to 0.25 inches.
After that, the rest of the week looks to be partly sunny..
SLO County rainfall totals
Here are the rainfall totals for San Luis Obispo County, from Dec. 1-5, according to the Weather Service’s data:
Rocky Butte: 10.67 inches
Santa Margarita: 5.76 inches
Las Tablas: 4.85 inches
Cal Poly SLO: 4.45 inches
Arroyo Grande: 4.37 inches
Lake Nacimiento: 4.26 inches
Cambria: 3.85 inches
Davis Peak: 3.46 inches
San Luis Obispo: 3.22 inches
Los Osos: 3.07 inches
Lopez Lake: 2.88 inches
Templeton: 2.7 inches
Oceano: 2.24 inches
Atascadero: 1.81 inches
Paso Robles: 1.79 inches
Nipomo: 1.63 inches
Morro Bay: 1.52 inches
Shandon: 1.27 inches
Carrizo Plain: 0.5 inches