The normal rainfall for Mount Shasta in February is 7.23 inches, and last year was a wet one: 14.17 inches of rain fell in Mount Shasta in February 2019.

This is shaping up to be the driest February on record in Mount Shasta, with just .12 inches of precipitation having fallen in the city over the month as of Tuesday afternoon.

There is a slight chance of rain on Saturday, which thanks to a leap year is the final day of February, said National Weather Service meteorologist Misty Firmin.

Prior to this year, the driest February on record came in 1971, when .21 inches were recorded in Mount Shasta, Firmin said.

The normal rainfall for Mount Shasta in February is 7.23 inches, and last year was a wet one: 14.17 inches of rain fell in Mount Shasta in February 2019.

In Redding, not a drop of precipitation has fallen. This could be the first February since records started in 1893 that that has occurred.

A tweet over the weekend from the National Weather Service in Sacramento said it all:

“Not too often do you see Death Valley, Las Vegas, and Phoenix with a higher monthly rain total than (Redding) in February.”

The driest February on record in Redding is 1988 when .14 of an inch fell, the National Weather Service said. That was followed by a mere half-inch in March of that year.

The average rainfall in Redding in February is 5.51 inches.

Firmin said the weather is going “into a pattern of change” that could bring rain and snow to the Mount Shasta area next week, and there is still hope that a wet March can turn the water year around.

“In 2018 we had a dry early spring, but then we had a late spring storm event that really turned things around,” Elizabeth Hadley, the Bureau of Reclamation’s deputy area manager, said Monday.

But the forecast is not promising, at least for the early part of March, Shoemaker said.

Last week, the Climate Prediction Center at the National Weather Service, tweeted that a drought is likely to develop in Northern California through the end of May.

Despite this long stretch of dry weather, Hadley said Lake Shasta is still in good shape.

The lake is more than three-quarters full and about 3 feet higher than it was a year ago.

“That’s the biggest message from the Bureau of Reclamation, that we have really great carryover storage,” Hadley said. “We had optimal storage heading into January. ... We are definitely at a good starting point.”

Hadley said at this time it’s difficult to say how the water year and allocations will play out.

“We will continue to keep releases at a minimum going forward, but we are just waiting to see what the precipitation looks like” the rest of the spring, Hadley said.

Scott McLean, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the dry weather is another reminder that everybody needs to do their part to be prepared for the wildfire season.

“We do ask the public, those living in rural areas, to make sure to make defensible space and that it’s being done appropriately and safely,” McLean said.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Forest Service started its 2020 control burn season by lighting a 90-acre fire in the Silverthorn Area of Lake Shasta.

Forest service officials said they plan to burn thousands of acres this winter and spring to clear trees and brush that have become too thick in the forest, hoping to reduce the intensity of wildfires that burn during the summer and fall.

CAL FIRE thinned 1,470 acres from July 1, 2019, to Jan. 31, 2020, spokeswoman Cheryl Buliavac said.