Rain on a car windshield

It's raining in California: time to party!

For all our geologic and political faults here in California we’re really a pretty simple bunch of folk these days.

It doesn’t take much to entertain us. Just add some rain and snow and we’re as giddy as a five-year-old on Christmas morning.

With probably a few exceptions that include walnut growers and perhaps a few cotton farmers, the attitude I’m hearing of the cold front that blew through earlier this week is one of jubilee and “let’s get this party started!”

Watching the front tack through the Golden State Monday morning on my iPhone radar app was exciting for this weather geek. Not just because I thought I wanted to be a meteorologist when I was a kid, but because, well, it’s rain and this is California.

One Turlock, Calif.-area farmer took a picture Monday morning of over an inch of water in his rain gauge. That was the day after a similar amount fell and was captured in the new rain gauge.

Pictures across social media showed wet streets, wet cars and in some places, white stuff covering the ground. I’m told that’s snow, but I don’t know. It’s been a long time since we’ve had that here in California.

As I write this I’m looking at a picture of a snow cat grooming what is said to be a foot of the new powder at one of California’s premiere ski resorts that they claim is nine days away from opening. I’m not a skier but I still say “bring it!”

Brace yourselves folks. As bad as El Niño is forecasted to be this year I’m predicting social media is going to be filled with pictures and videos of California’s winter weather, especially if it comes in like the lion they’re predicting.

Last year it was quite the opposite. It was all the rest of the country posting their complaints of frigid temperatures, snow and ice while we were posting pictures by the pool in January and February. I know, because I did – just to gently tease some friends who were complaining about all their snow and ice.

As water years go the new one started Oct. 1 – that’s when California starts counting rainfall. Water years run Oct. 1 through the end of September the following year.

For those of us in California the new water year has already seen rainfall amounts in some parts of the state well ahead of what we received all of last year -- and that's in the first 32 days of the water year. For some spots that typically don’t get much – like Death Valley National Park – they recently saw a couple years’ worth of rainfall within a few hours that washed out roads, turned the entire valley floor into a lake and did considerable damage to tourist attractions such as Scotty’s Castle.

I’m predicting that if this season continues and the desert continues to get good rain throughout the winter months that photographers like me are going to find their Mecca in the wildflowers that bloom come next April.

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