This may be the driest year on record in California. When trying to learn more about this, one of the most helpful graphics I encountered was offered by the Wall Street Journal, illustrating precipitation by year since the late 1800s — you can see it here.
The San Jose Mercury News also provided some useful statistics comparing 2013 rainfall amounts in a few California cities with previous record lows — for those images, click here.
No wonder I've felt thirsty lately! And never mind me, I've been thinking about the amphibians, along with lots of other animals and plants and fungi that have been waiting for the rain.
Tonight I went to check on the local salamanders. We live near redwood trees, which are expert fog collectors, so there was a little moisture among the downed needles. But I'm sure these salamanders would like some more.
California Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus)
P.S. Locally, only 3 inches of rain have fallen on Bodega Head since July 1st (2 inches since October 1st.) The average annual rainfall amount is ~30 inches.