As of yesterday Downtown Los Angeles (USC) has recorded 8.80 inches of rainfall for both the Rainfall Year (July 1 – June 30) and Water Year (October 1 – September 30). By either measure Los Angeles rainfall is well above normal, and with three well-advertised storms in the forecast it looks like Los Angeles rainfall could remain above normal for at least a few weeks.
Even if it has been a bit wet — and muddy — it’s been great to have a more normal rain season. The rain has been very beneficial and has impacted the drought, at least in the short term. Just how much a continued wet rain season would impact the drought in the long term is a question that has to wait for future analysis.
There has been a five year precipitation deficit of nearly 36 inches at Downtown Los Angeles (USC). It’s hard to appreciate the size of this deficit while running in the rain, splashing through puddles, and trying not to slip in the mud. One tangible indicator of this deficit is that despite above average rainfall, many creeks in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills have remained dry or are barely flowing. Some have been dry for years.
Upper Las Virgenes Creek – Last checked yesterday, January 17, 2017. Was not flowing near the Cheeseboro connector. Puddled water in places.
Garapito Creek – Last checked January 15, 2017. The north branch was just starting to flow, but the south branch was still dry.
Upper Sycamore Creek – Was not flowing on January 1, 2017.
Serrano Creek – Was not flowing on January 1, 2017. Puddled water in places.
If the wet forecast holds will these streams start to flow? We’ll see!