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San Francisco Experiencing Driest Start To Year Since 1850s

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A young boy carries an umbrella as he walks down Market Street in San Francisco on a rainy day. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A young boy carries an umbrella as he walks down Market Street in San Francisco on a rainy day. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – San Francisco has seen less rainfall to start the year since before the Civil War.

KPIX 5 Chief Meteorologist Paul Deanno reports that only 1.34 inches of rainfall has been recorded downtown since the start of the year. A normal total through February would be 8.51 inches. With no significant rain likely through the end of the week, the city appears headed for a rain total low that hasn’t been seen since 1852, during the Millard Fillmore presidency.

Deanno notes that during March of 1852, the city saw more than six inches of rain, twice the normal amount.

Across the Bay Area we’ve seen record low rainfall but above average storage.  Even in Marin County, which relies heavily on local rainfall, they have 97 percent capacity in their reservoirs, and they don’t expect to have to talk about restrictions any time this spring.

Officials have said the Sierra snowpack, which provides much of the rest of the state’s water for drinking and agriculture, is well below normal for this time of year, while the snow water content statewide is 70 percent of average.

KPIX 5 Weather Center: Latest Conditions & Forecast

Reclamation official have said as a result of the dry weather, agricultural contractors on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley will receive an initial water allocation of 25 percent of requested deliveries.

Municipal, industrial and other water contractors will receive 75 percent.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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