Breathe easy, Sonoma County, we are back to normal.
What Sonoma County Water Agency officials are calling a "Miracle March," of heavy rainfall has pushed water supply conditions for the Russian River from "critical" to "normal," "
The move to normal means the water agency will not reduce Russian River flows in April.
"That means there is more water in the river system for recreation and more water in the system in the fall for the Chinook salmon run," said Sonoma County Water Agency spokesman Brad Sherwood.
More than 600,000 people in Sonoma and Marin counties rely on the river for their prime source of domestic, commercial and industrial water supply.
The "normal" designation is based on cumulative inflow to Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest, and Lake Pillsbury has had some wet March.
The lake went from 43 percent of capacity to 82 percent in 3?-weeks, Sherwood said.
"We honestly didn't think that was going to happen in our wildest dreams," he said. "That is fantastic."
To put the increase into perspective, the average amount of daily rainfall that entered Lake Pillsbury in the month of February was 350 acre feet. In 48 hours between March 27 and 28, 15,000 acre feet entered the lake.
"We have not seen such a large amount of water enter Lake Pillsbury in a very long time," Sherwood said.
In Santa Rosa, rains have made this March one of the wettest in 80 years of record keeping.
While agency officials continue to call for efficient water use, rationing has not been discussed this year because Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino are at 94 and 92 percent of capacity, respectively. Both reservoirs are much larger than Lake Pillsbury.
"We were never talking about water rationing. We are very fortunate that we have Lake Sonoma in our watershed. Lake Sonoma has been a superstar in this dry time," Sherwood said.
March is expected to go out on a wet note, with a half-inch to inch of rain expected <NO1>(SAT)<NO>today. Forecasters say some areas in Sonoma County could get thunderstorms and hail today.
"It will be a great movie day on Saturday," said Steve Anderson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
But not so great for baseball.
The Santa Rosa American Little League postponed until next week its opening day ceremonies originally scheduled for today.
Things will dry out on Sunday with temperatures staying around 55 degrees.
The soggy March on the North Coast has meant a snowy wonderland in the Tahoe area. Boreal ski area was expected to get 16 inches of snow <NO1>(SAT)<NO>today in advance of heavy traffic with spring break skiers, said Boreal spokesman Jon Slaughter.
That dumping of snow helps erase assumptions that Tahoe's slopes would be devoid of new powder snow this season.
"It draws people up. It changes that perception. It finally flipped the switch — (skiers) decided now the season is on," he said.