Southern California rainfall 52% of normal

After a series of late February storms, precipitation along the Southern California sections of the Pacific Crest Trail is 52% of normal for the year, based on National Weather Service Data from four locations near the PCT. This compares to 57% of normal for this time last year.

In many areas the rainfall totals for the last few days of February exceeded the combined totals of the previous four months.

Location Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Total % Avg
Lake Cuyamaca 3.96 1.98 1.71 0.47 5.62 13.74 NA
Lake Henshaw 1.78 0.74 1.12 0.31 4.98 8.93 49%
Big Bear Fire Station 0.76 0.60 1.02 0.38 4.30 7.06 51%
Mount Wilson 1.40 1.97 0.57 0.51 9.60 14.05 56%
Average 1.98 1.32 1.11 0.42 6.13 10.95 52%

Totals and averages are from October through February.

Locations were chosen due to their proximity to the Pacific Crest trail.

  • Lake Cuyamaca is three miles west of PCT mile 60
  • Lake Henshaw is seven miles SW of Warner Springs, PCT mile 110
  • Big Bear Lake Fire Station is 3 miles south of PCT mile 277
  • Mount Wilson is 9.5 miles southwest of PCT mile 403

Rainfall totals are calculated for “water years,” the twelve months from October 1st to September 30th. Southern California typically receives about 90% of it’s rainfall from October through April.

Hikers should consult the PCT Water Report, a crowdsourced compilation of water information for Southern California at for the latest information. Print out a copy just before your next trip. When you return home, send in your water updates to [email protected].

Source: National Wether Service, California Nevada River Forecast Center