This week's snowfall in Hesperia was heavy, but by no means a record and, barring a very wet last two weeks of the year, leaves 2008 another year with below-average precipitation.
Hesperia Star columnist, and Daily Press weather watcher Richard Doornbos measured the snow that fell near his Sultana Street home. He chose a flat spot without drifts with solid concrete beneath the snow.
"Approximately 7 1/2" inches," Doornbos said Friday. And according to his rain gauge, that translates to about an inch of rainfall.
"Snowfall never translates exactly to moisture content, that is, the equivalent of rain," he said. "Ten inches of snow might be an inch of rain. ... Heck, you could get a snowstorm where you could get 20 inches of snow on the ground, and maybe only [the equivalent of] an inch of rain. "
That's because -- as any child who's watched snowflakes spiral down to earth knows -- not all snow is created equal. Some snow is wet, thick and dense, other is dryer and more powdery.
This week's snowfall was lighter than a similar storm back in 2004, although that storm didn't shut down much of the city for 36 to 48 hours in the same way.
"As I recall, the snow was a little less," Doornbos said. "It was nevertheless a very wet, very destructive snow. ... It collects on everything, weights it down. We had a lot of damage over here."
So this year's snowstorm, while a memorable one for Hesperia Unified School District students who got their winter break unexpectedly extended by several days, isn't really one for the record books.
"It's not the greatest in record, or anything like that. I've been doing this since 1981, and we've been up here since '64," Doornbos said. "The very first winter we were up here, we had three feet of snow. Now that was a snowstorm."
With the estimated inch of rainfall that this week's snowstorm equals, Hesperia is likely to end 2008 with a little below average rainfall. Hesperia is up to 7.39 inches of rain this year. The average annual rainfall is 7.49 inches.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.