PARADISE — If Paradise is any indication, Butte County Is getting its fair share of rain with more on the way incoming over the next week according to the National Weather Service.
As Santa Claus begins to make his annual trek around the globe this evening, Paradise has had more rain than it has this time than it did the last three times he’s arrived in Butte County.
And this year he’s going to deal with some weather that he hadn’t to deal with last year.
According to forecasters, there are multiple winter storms on the way that are expected to bring periods of widespread rain, mountain snow and wind through next week, causing holiday travel disruptions,
Forecasters are expecting the heaviest mountain snow to begin on Christmas Eve and remain so through Monday.
Foothill snow is possible Christmas night into Wednesday, Dec. 29 with the possibilities of very low snow levels but forecasters are uncertain on how low those snow levels will drop.
Snow levels were expected to be between 4,000 and 6,000 feet on Thursday and they could lower to between 2,500 and 3.500 feet by Christmas Eve.
Forecasters say they could lower again to between 1.000 and 2.500 feet by Sunday morning,
Despite the weather, it is not expected to curtail Santa’s efforts to complete his annual Christmas Eve trip to deliver presents. In fact, as it always does NORAD will track Santa’s trip around the globe.
The stormy weather is just another indication that so far this winter has been a wet one and according to the Department of Water Resources, the rain gauge at the Cal Fire-Butte County Paradise Fire Station shows the town has accumulated 30.2 inches of rain since Oct.1.
That’s miles ahead of where it was last year when Paradise had accumulated just 5.35 inches of rain. This year’s rainfall total marks the fourth time since 2012 that Paradise has recorded more than 27.5 inches of rain before Christmas Eve.
Despite the amount of rain, Lake Oroville is still trailing last year’s lake levels. Last year at this time it had 1,245,505 acre-feet while this year it has 1,174,879 acre-feet. However, both of those numbers trail the average of 1,823,234 acre-feet the lake usually has as it enters Christmas Eve.
The last time Paradise had this much rain coming into Christmas Eve was in 2016 when 35.72 inches of rain fell. That was the same winter when the Lake Oroville spillway crisis occurred in February 2017.
Paradise finished that rainy season with 87.46 inches of rain by June 1.
In between, that rainy season and this one Paradise had seen all of 5.19 inches of rain by Christmas Eve 2019, and in 2018 it had 4.07 inches of rain by the time Santa Claus made his annual trek around the globe.
All but 1/10 of an inch of that rain came after the Camp Fire struck on Nov. 8, 2018.
By the time Christmas Eve 2015 rolled around, Paradise residents had seen 14.27 inches of rain.
And that was coming off a Christmas Eve in 2014 during which Paradise had endured 27.5 inches of rain to that part of the season.
While last season’s paltry 5.35 inches of rain in Paradise by Christmas Eve was small, it wasn’t even the worst in the last 10 years — by Christmas Eve 2013, Paradise had accumulated just 3.35 inches of rain.
By Christmas Eve 2012 Paradise accumulated 29.42 inches of rain, to sandwich the 2013 production. The third lowest rainfall total by Christmas Eve in the last 10 years was in 2011 when Paradise had just 7.18 inches of rain.