Spot near McCloud is wettest place in state

Staff reports

For the second year in a row, the McCloud River watershed ranks No. 1 in precipitation in California as June arrives with the start of summer.

A weather station operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at Stouts Meadow certified 61.40 inches of precipitation for the season, edging the traditional No. 1 site, Gasquet on the Smith River, at 61.08 inches. Another site in Plumas National Forest, Four Trees, located roughly near Bucks Lake, is at 59.84 inches.

Stouts Meadow is located at 5,400 feet elevation near the headwaters of the McCloud River south of Bartle, on the flank of Grizzly Peak.

Last year, weather experts considered it an anomaly when Stouts Meadow ranked No. 1 of 55 major watersheds in California, especially in the face of epic flooding on the Russian River. Two years in a row at No. 1 is better evidence of a trend, they said.

Last year, many weather stations across the state certified rain and snow levels that were often 150 to 175 percent of normal. As of June 1, 2019, for instance, the gauge at Stouts Meadow recorded 122.50 inches of precipitation, twice that of this past winter.

This year, as is typical with swing effect, where weather cycles often swing back and forth with equal force, is at the opposite end of spectrum statewide.

The 161 major reservoirs in California show an average storage of 81 percent of normal for the date, according to the latest figures provided by the Department of Water Resources. Reservoirs fed by the Sacramento River, including Lake Siskiyou, Shasta Lake and others, are at 96 percent of normal for the date.

Volunteers at provide the weekly weather box for the Mt. Shasta Herald.