Weather experts lining up the probabilities of a strong El Niño this winter bringing the Mother Lode much in the way of rain can’t really say how we’ll wind up, wet weather-wise, it turns out.
Specific-to-Sonora weather history that dates back to 1950 shows five strong El Niño events since then. Of them, three gave us 60 percent above normal precipitation. Over El Niño winters that occurred during 1958, 1973, 1983, 1992, and 1998, rainfall totals were all over the board. Kind of like the way I throw darts, unfortunately. For example, in 1992, we got 36 inches, which is about three-quarters of normal, precipitation-wise. In 1983, however, Sonora was soaked with over 88 inches of rain — which is 177 percent of average. The winter of 1973’s total of about 52 inches was just above average for the city.
So what have we learned here? Don’t challenge me to a dart match unless you plan to take cover, and keep up those drought-inspired rain dances but perhaps not too relentlessly! Weather nerds hankering for more a bit more data may click here.