The weather has calmed in Southern California. Medium range models are forecasting a break of about a week in what has turned out to be a very busy rain season. Over the last 90 days a precipitation pattern typical of El Niño has emerged in the western U.S. This is reflected in rainfall total for Downtown Los Angeles (USC), which is now at 13.2 inches for the water year — 4.78 inches above normal.
The dry weather could not have come at a better time for those affected, or threatened, by mudslides and debris flows. This small slump along a road at Ahmanson Ranch is indicative of the instability that can develop when soil becomes saturated. Had our recent wet pattern been more persistent, mudslides and debris flows might have been much more widespread and devastating.