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The rainfall total for Redding since Oct. 1 reached 40 inches on Wednesday. Damon Arthur

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Some time on Wednesday the National Weather Service’s rain gauge in Redding hit the 40-inch mark, a milestone achieved only twice in the past 10 years.

To many in the North State, above-normal rainfall is welcome news.

“I think it’s excellent news,” said Matt Doyle, general manager of Lake Shasta Caverns. “It was kind of surprising, the amount of rainfall this winter. December, January and February were just mind boggling as far as the amount of rain.”

On the same day the Weather Service’s official rain gauge at the Redding Municipal Airport hit 40.43 inches, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced water allocations for Northern California agencies such as the city of Redding and Bella Vista Water District.

Because of an above-normal snowpack in the mountains, higher rainfall and an 80 percent full Lake Shasta, municipal water agencies in Northern California will receive 100 percent of their water allocations, the bureau announced.

Agricultural water agencies north of the San Joaquin Delta will also receive 100 percent of their water allocation. Municipal agencies south of the Delta will get 90 percent of their allocation this year, and ag agencies south of the Delta will get 65 percent, according to the bureau.

To Doyle and other resort operators on Lake Shasta, this year’s rain has them optimistic about the summer tourist season. Marinas and resorts on the lake rely on a full lake to lure tourists to the area for the summer recreation season, he said.

“It (a fuller lake) is definitely going to bring people up here. It is going to be a huge year this year,” Doyle said.

Two years ago, the North State baked through its fourth year of drought, agencies in the North State had their water allocations cut severely and residents in Redding and elsewhere lived under water-use restrictions.

But last year’s rainfall helped fill the lake and bring relief from water cutbacks.

The Weather Service recorded 40.49 inches of rain in the 12 months from Oct. 1 to the end of September 2016.

By this time last year, 34 inches of rain had fallen at the airport. So far, just over 40 inches of rain fell from Oct. 1 to March 22.

Before last year, the rainfall total hadn’t hit 40 inches since 2005, when 45.33 inches of rain fell at the airport. The totals are still far off the all-time rainfall records, though.

In 1997, 63.55 inches of rain fell at the airport. In 1982, 68 inches of rain was recorded in Redding, but back then the Weather Service’s gauge was closer to downtown Redding, which typically receives more rain than in southeast Redding at the airport.

While the lower elevations have seen plenty of rain this winter, in the mountains, the snowpack is 140 percent of average, according to the State Department of Water Resources.

To Brenda Belongie, lead meteorologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Redding, the higher rainfall and above-average snowpack could ease the onset of fire season this spring and summer.

“What’s been great about this winter snowpack is that it’s very deep. It rivals some of the records we’ve had,” Belongie said.

A deep snowpack keeps the brush, trees and grass in the mountains greener longer into the spring and summer, making the forest less prone to burning in a fire, she said.

“We’ve been set up ideally for a reasonably normal fire season,” Belongie said.

However, the higher rainfall has grass in the lower elevations growing tall and lush. That could be a problem by summer when the grass dries out, turning the hills to golden brown, she said.

That tall, dry grass tends to ignite easier and burn quickly, which could create more problems for firefighters, she said.

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