Driest Year on Record Shaping Up for San Francisco

By , Senior Meteorologist
December 19, 2013; 4:37 AM ET
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Play video Weather across the Southwest is detailed in the above AccuWeather.com video.

This year is likely shaping up to be the driest calendar year on record for San Francisco, adding to the mounting wildfires that have plagued the state.

The Pfeiffer Fire in Los Padres National Forest is only 20 percent contained and has caused nearly 100 evacuations since it began on Dec. 17. Incoming winds around the area on Thursday could be around 10 to 20 mph.

San Francisco's International Airport has only received 3.38 inches of rain since January.

That is well below the 18.37 inches that typically falls by mid-December and the 20.65 inches San Francisco averages in an entire calendar year.

The city averages 4.03 inches during the entire month of December--further proof of how little rain San Francisco has picked up.

The National Weather Service in San Francisco states that 2013 is now on track to become San Francisco's driest calendar year on record, easily beating 1946 and its 8.79 inches.

"The Pacific jet stream, along which storms follow, has had a hard time frequently dropping into the Southwest," AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel stated as to why San Francisco has been so dry this year.

"A ridge of high pressure has instead kept the jet stream aimed at northern Canada."

Detailed San Francisco Forecast
Forecast Temperature Maps
San Francisco Interactive Radar

After a dry first half of the week, a shower will return to San Francisco on Thursday. Rain amounts, however, will not be significant.

In fact, there are no signs of a heavy rain event unfolding through the end of the year and preventing 2013 from becoming San Francisco's all-time driest year.

Records in San Francisco date back to 1927.

Tune in to AccuWeather Live Mornings every weekday at 7 a.m. EST. We will be talking about the upcoming weekend storm and weather leading up to Christmas.


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