Here’s Some Perspective on This Winter’s Rain in Los Angeles

It feels like we can’t go even a few days without looking ahead to our next rain storm. And, you're probably asking, "Is this normal?"

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Los Angeles City Hall is reflected in the pavement as office workers arrive at the California Department of Transportation building during the pouring rain in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. The National Weather Service says the atmospheric river sagged southward from Northern California overnight and is pointed at the southwestern corner of the state early Thursday. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Let’s start with the rain season, which starts October 1. As you can see from the above graphic, it’s been a great year. Three of the first five months have produced above average rain and January and February have been incredible.
But when you compare this water year to the top four years on record, we aren’t even close. We are currently sitting in 54th place of the rainiest years. Records go back to 1877, giving us 142 years of numbers to compare. To be fair, we have through September to add to this amount, but typically once we get past April we don’t get much more rain in Southern California. How many more spots do you think we’ll climb?
It is great to see that our 15.68 inches of rain in Los Angeles is above our yearly average of 14.93 inches. San Diego is also above its yearly average -- 10.35 inches just passed its complete seasonal average of 10.34 inches.
While the month of February has been very wet, we haven’t set any rainfall records.
We are in the top 20 percent of the rainiest Februaries (29th place), but it’s going to be tough to climb much higher with only light rain in the forecast for the next seven days. The long range models are hinting at another atmospheric river taking aim on us the second week of March, so this wet season should continue. The question is how much how much more rain will we get before we finish the month of April?
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