The 1976-77 drought | Clear Lake News and Pix
Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2021 9:33 am
LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – The weather news from 1976 and 1977 sounds familiar today.
Clear rainless days progress one after another, mild temperatures prevail and lake levels drop. Today’s jet stream patterns duplicate 1977’s.
Lake County’s rainfall in 1976 and 1977 totaled about 25 inches, only half of average, and 1977 was the driest year on record in California.
In early 1976 the drought garnered little attention in the press. Roy Dufrain Sr. at the Record-Bee noticed and urged Lakeport officials to get serious about finding reliable long-term water sources.
Wells showed levels 5 to 10 feet lower in May than they did a year earlier, but officials weren’t yet worried about a crisis.
Clear Lake slipped below “zero Rumsey” in September 1976 when water stopped flowing over the Grigsby Riffle in Cache Creek.
Rain in November raised hopes briefly, but Clear Lake continued to fall faster than the rain did.
On Nov. 27, 1976, the low water revealed a car submerged at Clear Lake State Park and resolved the December 1967 disappearance of Melvin Murrin and Chester Lowe.
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