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Los Angeles on track for record dry year

The city of Los Angeles is on track to be within reach of their all-time driest year on record.
December 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The city of Los Angeles is on track to be within reach of their all-time driest year on record.

"Break out the record books, we have a record breaker," said JPL Climatologist Bill Patzert. "Since January 1, we've only had 3.49 inches of rain."

That's just 26 percent of what should have been the normal rainfall total to date in downtown Los Angeles. In a normal year, downtown Los Angeles would receive more than 14 inches of rain.

The previous rainfall record set in 1947 and 1943 totaled 4.08 inches. As of now, we're more than half-an-inch below that level.

Patzert says it's not much of a surprise since the southwestern U.S. has been in the midst of a serious drought for several years. He says he doesn't see change coming anytime soon, even though we're about to head into our wettest time of the season.

"Three-fourths of our rainfall comes in January, February and March," said Patzert, and so, you know proverbially, we could get lucky, but I definitely wouldn't bet the family mortgage on it."

Southern California isn't alone. Our snow pack in the Sierra Nevada has also taken a hit. The lack of rain is also raising the risk of wildfires much later in the year.

Rain is predicted for later this week, but it isn't enough to stop us from breaking the record.


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