Wettest year for peak in Santa Cruz range

(photo credit: Frances Freyburg)

(Edited to change to fourth-highest peak)

On Mt. Umunhum, the fourth-highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountain range, the water district maintains a rain gauge that measured more than 100 inches of rainfall on the mountain, by far more than any year since 1969, when measurements there began.

In the last four years, the peak, which is distinguished by the large radar tower visible from the valley floor, averaged 47 inches of rain. Ten months into the water year which began July 1, it has hit 102 inches.

Mt. Umunhum is just one of the areas that has seen record precipitation in Northern California this winter. The Department of Water Resources said that the Northern Sierra now has the wettest water year on record, with 89.7 inches of precipitation. The previous record was 88.5 inches, set in the 1982-83 water year.

Storm runoff from Mt. Umunhum recharges local hillside groundwater, provides for habitat and stream flows, and sends valuable water to Williams Reservoir, Lake Elsman, the Lexington Reservoir system and Guadalupe and Almaden reservoirs.


  1. That’s a lot of water! Mt. Umunhum (3489′) is actually the fourth highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mtns. Loma Prieta just south, is the highest (3790′).


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