Fueled by two wetter-than-normal months, Los Gatos’ rainfall total in the 2021 calendar year was more than double that in 2020.
But even with an atmospheric river soaking the region in the year’s final weeks, and with the town at its 30-year average, the region still remains in a deep drought.
According to the National Weather Service, Los Gatos’ precipitation totaled 21 inches in 2021 as of Dec. 24.
The town’s wettest months were October and November, which were the only two that exceeded the normal average.
The most recent storm flooded roads and caused mudslides in the mountainous areas.
However, it wasn’t nearly enough to make a dent in the county’s drought situation.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Santa Clara County is still considered to be in “Extreme Drought,” just one level below the driest category of “Exceptional.”
The Los Gatos Town Council adopted an emergency drought ordinance in August, following earlier decisions by the state and other jurisdictions as California experienced another dry year.
Earlier in June, Valley Water’s board of directors declared a water shortage emergency and imposed mandatory water usage reductions of 15% compared to 2019 levels—equivalent to a 33% reduction from 2013 water usage levels.
On July 8, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that urges Californians to reduce their water use by 15% compared to 2020 levels. The State Water Resources Control Board shortly after prohibited using potable water to wash down sidewalks, washing vehicles with a hose without a shut-off nozzle and other usages.
Less than a quarter-inch of rain is expected Dec. 29, according to the National Weather Service, with rain not expected in the forecast until early next week.
(NO WAY THROUGH — Aleksandra Wolska examines a landslide covering E. Zayante Road on Christmas Eve that forced residents to drive up to Summit Road to get to Santa Cruz or Felton. Storms that blanketed the region over the past week caused mudslides over roads and headaches for commuters.)