Update: Here is the map of the current drought situation in California:
Here is the rain situation in California forecast for 5:00 p.m. today:
I believe this is a problem meeting its solution (1). That band of heavy rain is dumping a forecasted 3″-6″ in the flats, a foot or more in the hills, all the way from Santa Barbara to San Diego and Baja California (2). More rain over this weekend. The press is calling it ‘epic’ and ‘torrential’ and probably dragging out their thesauruses for even better words. I’d suggest ‘apocalyptic’ or even ‘the Ragnarök of rains’. I suspect there are legitimate reasons they don’t let me write for the papers.
Texted my kids who live down there, and, yes, they are wet.
I recall as a child reading Raymond Chandler stories, which seemed to involve rain in LA when not talking about Santa Ana winds, and wondering: huh? In my first 18 years, there was *1* year of memorable rain. Setting a story in rainy LA as if it were completely normal struck me as odd.
Also as a child – probably a teenager – found a large book in the Whittier Public Library that was a hydrology study from, I think, the 1920s, making the argument (with lots of cool maps and charts (3)) that Something Must Be Done about all these floods. So, on an intellectual level, I understood that it sometimes rains A Lot in LA, but lacked the personal experience to confirm it.
My sample, it seems, may have been skewed.
Updating the Update: Here’s what’s going on at the moment, per Weather.com:
- even if the problem is calling “we planned our water system based on an insufficiently large sample size of ‘normal’ weather” a “drought” – because Nature was done with the drought last year, when we got an average amount of rainfall – but all the (unnatural by definition) reservoirs and pumped out groundwater reserves had not yet been refilled.
- It’s a little too bad about Baja – it’s mostly a dusty desert and the infrastructure isn’t very good, and lots of people live in less than tight housing (and, sadly, a lot live under tarps and pallets and cardboard). It will turn a dusty mess into a muddy mess, at best, for a whole lot of people. They need the water, but it’s better if they don’t get it all at once.
- My hopeless geekiness is showing. Yes, I spent enough time looking at an hydrology study in the public library 45 years ago that I remember it to this day.