Thursday May 7th — Friday May 8th
Angelenos pulled their sweaters back out this week as a February-style chill swept through Southern Coastal California, bringing with it more than just a sprinkle of water. Typically in May we say goodbye to rain and hello to the marine layer, which will return next week. And temperatures are usually on the rise this time of year as the sun shines for most of the day, though this week our favorite star was given an unexpected break from his usual routine.
So who are these ominous grey clouds and why did they pay us such an irregular visit?
Well, this fun winter-like weather pattern comes to us all the way from Alaska. A storm developed up there earlier this week and held on as the jet-stream pushed its way down the Pacific coast. It picked up some moisture from the warmer-than-average waters off our coast and dropped it over land. Finally, this storm dumped some nice rain and snow in the central part of the state (most affected by the drought), then it continued down to us!
We should all feel very blessed for this late season plumb of moisture. What does it mean for the drought? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Nearly all of LA county saw some rain!
Between 0.10-0.75 inches fell last night starting around 8pm, with some areas seeing rainfall rates of 0.25 in-0.5 inches an hour (if it rained that rate for an hour, that’s what it would yield). That’s a solid amount of rain for some places. We’re talking millions of gallons of water falling over in some neighborhoods! The amounts vary and are localized, because the rainfall with this storm was associated with small cells (thunderstorms, think dark grey fluffy clouds). Also, areas of the San Gabriel mountains saw closer to 1 inch or rain with elevations above 6,000 feet getting several inches of snow (6” close to Big Bear!).
What if We Captured it?
So, it rained about 0.25 inches in Silver Lake (everyone’s favorite neighborhood). We used this equation to measure rainfall per sq/ft in gallons collected, and determined (assuming everyone has approximately 1000 sq ft of rooftop), that in a neighborhood with 10,000 homes (about as many as there are in Silver Lake), rooftops alone could’ve captured 1,125,000 gallons! That’s a little more than 28 gallons per resident of Silver Lake, which is 1.5 months of drinking water per person. Now there you have it!
59 — 66 °F
48 — 54 °F
0.10 — 0.75 inches
(areas around LAX and south of Downtown LA saw more).
THE GOOD NEWS
With moisture in the soil, fire danger has decreased for now. The drought continues, but we’ll take any wet stuff we can get.
A LOOK AHEAD
Most of the storm has now passed and we’ll warm up a bit over the weekend to near average temperatures, peaking around 75 on Sunday then cooling off again next week. There’s even a chance of rain in the forecast for next weekend! We’ll keep you posted as the forecast develops, but hopefully it’ll be time to up your rain barrels and/or stick your succulents outside.