I have become somewhat of a water watcher these days digging around the internet for stories about the drought and reading articles about El Nino. Looking up the archives I see I wrote about the average rainfall for Dry Creek Valley being around 35-40 inches of rain. The last three years of the drought we have seen just above half or in other years even less.
According to a couple of websites I frequent, The Sonoma County Water Agency and University of California Cooperative Extension Sonoma County, I see some good news as El Nino drops this much needed rain. Right now we are within 2 inches of what is considered normal rainfall for this area at this time(SCWA data). Secondly we are far above January totals in the first 7 days than we have been over the last three winters (2013-2015) with the measurement taken from Santa Rosa to the south of us. It is close to 3 inches through today when the most that dropped in the three previous years for the whole month was between .02 inches to .89 inches (UCCE data).
Right now the vineyard soil is becoming saturated-I heard it percolating yesterday during a respite after four days of rain. More is expected in the next week but not to the extent of what we have received so far. As heart breaking as it was to see dusty vineyards for the last three Januarys this year there is plenty of vegetation and such a relief to see the hills green again. Canyon Creek which flows through our winery on down to our vineyards along Dry Creek itself had enough water to flow all the way to our main water artery to the Russian River and on to the Pacific Ocean itself. A splash of Zinfandel in my Dino as I enjoy the soggy view!
January 2014 our Mother Clone vineyard was as dry as a bone. Once we had some rain it turned our hillsides green.