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How much rain has SLO County gotten? Enough to fill about 2 million Olympic-sized pools

Fly over the green hills and flowing water near Los Osos

After the recent winter storms, the creeks and streams around Turri Road near Los Osos are flowing with water heading toward the Morro Bay Estuary, and the surrounding hills are alive with the color green.
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After the recent winter storms, the creeks and streams around Turri Road near Los Osos are flowing with water heading toward the Morro Bay Estuary, and the surrounding hills are alive with the color green.

The amount of rain San Luis Obispo County has gotten from storms so far this season is enough to fill millions of swimming pools.

Nearly 2 million, to be exact.

The calculation was made using approximate season-to-date totals for six different locations in the county: Rocky Butte, Nipomo, Cal Poly, Creston, Shandon and Paso Robles.

The average of those areas’ rainfall totals is about 20 inches, which was then multiplied by 63 billion — the number of gallons per square mile in San Luis Obispo County, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.

That number was then divided by the number of gallons in an Olympic-sized swimming pool — about 660,253 gallons — resulting in a grand total of about 1.9 million pools.

“That’s a lot of Olympic swimming pools,” Lindsey said.

To look at it another way, that amount of water could fill Santa Margarita Lake more than 160 times.

Season-to-date rainfall totals are measured from the beginning of July to the present, and the current rain year lasts from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. The rainy season, when SLO County gets the most rain, typically begins in the fall and lasts through springtime.

Exceptionally wet weather pulled SLO County out of drought in late February, marking the first time since 2011 that all of the county and the entire Central Coast region was not listed as experiencing dryness or drought conditions, according to a February Tribune article.

And the rainy season isn’t over yet, despite the dry weather San Luis Obispo County is currently experiencing.

That break in the rain is forecast to last from Monday until March 19 at the earliest, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.

There’s another chance of rain forecast from March 19 through the end of the month, according to Lindsey.

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Gabby Ferreira is a breaking news and general assignment reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. A native of Houston, Texas, she was a reporter in Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Palm Springs, California, before moving to San Luis Obispo County in 2016.
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