For this past week, California was expected to see a rather significant boost in temperatures following weeks of wet and stormy weather. Temperatures throughout the state were expected to rise well above the normal temperature expected for this time of year, giving the state some of the warmest weather it’s had so far in 2018.
A wind advisory was administered for several counties through California last week as winds were expected to gust from 55 to 60 miles per hour at times in the mountains, and 20 to 30 miles per hour in the coastal plain area with local gusts from 45 to 50 miles per hour.
Temperatures were expected to reach up to 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, part in thanks to gusts of wind bringing in warmer air. These predictions expected record-high temperatures for the end of March. Although warmer weather is lovely, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
California has struggled in the past with droughts on more than one occasion. This year has been no different. California also saw record-breaking warm temperatures in February and faced staggering precipitation deficits. Thus, renewing talks of a drought. On February 13, the Sierra Nevada snowpack, reportedly the source of one-third of California’s water, sat at just 22% of its historic average. That is lower than any February on record, including 2015 when it sat at 26%.
These warmer temperatures have the potential to cause other problems for California residents, as well. Sun shining through large glass windows can create almost a green house effect indoors, causing the cost of air-conditioning to rise significantly. One way to combat this is to get new, Energy Star-approved windows. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homeowners can save up to $501 annually a year by replacing old single-pane windows with new energy efficient ones.
Although the window problem may seem like an easy fix, the drought issue is not. However, late season storms may just have been the saving grace this dry state needed. The storms boosted precipitation totals across the state, including the Sierra snowpack, which stood at 58% of normal for this time of year. The ever-changing weather conditions make it hard to predict just what will happen next.