Latest Winter Downpour Brings Record Rainfall to Downtown L.A.
Latest Winter Downpour Brings Record Rainfall to Downtown L.A.

Downtown rainfall in the latest storm broke a record set in the 1800s. More rain is on the way

This week's storm, which drew added moisture from an atmospheric river out of Hawaii, doused L.A. County valley areas early Thursday and broke rainfall records, forecasters said.

"After the spectacular lightning show early Wednesday morning and the periods of heavy rain that lingered into Wednesday afternoon, the weather across Southwestern California has quieted down quite a bit in most areas," noted an NWS statement.

Record rainfall totals from this week's storm generally averaged 0.75 to 1.75 inches of rain in coastal areas, 2 to 3.5 inches in the foothills and mountains, and 0.50 inches to 1 inch in the Antelope Valley, according to the statement. Through 7.30 p.m. Wednesday, the highest total was at Opids Camp in the San Gabriel Mountains with 4.12 inches, followed by 3.69 inches at San Antonio Dam in San Bernardino County.

The National Weather Service reports that Wednesday's 1.25 inches of rain in downtown Los Angeles shattered a 135-year-old record. The old record was .88 inches, set in 1884. The NWS also notes that March 6 -- until Wednesday -- was the only day in March with a daily rainfall record that was below 1 inch dating back to 1978.

Several other rainfall records were also set Wednesday -- .98 of an inch at Los Angeles International Airport broke the old record of .54 set in 1962; .75 of an inch at Lancaster's Fox Field broke the old record of .48 set in 1980; and .56 at Palmdale Airport broke the old record of .55 set in 1980.

A weak storm system was expected to strike the region Thursday evening and produce scattered showers, which could affect the Friday morning commute, although there is no guarantee that will take place, Rorke said. But it will lower the snow level to 4,000 feet.

"Low elevation snow is possible Sunday and Sunday night, impacting major mountain passes," according to the statement.

The area should dry out late Friday but another storm system will bring a chance for rain on Sunday and Monday, an NWS statement said.

Temperatures, meanwhile, were running around 10 degrees below normal, said National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Rorke. He noted that temperatures remained have not reached 70 degrees in downtown L.A. for 36 days, with another seven days of the same expected, which will create the fifth longest such streak.

The NWS forecast partly cloudy skies in L-A County Thursday and highs of 43 degrees in Mount Wilson; 55 in Avalon; 56 in Palmdale; 57 in Lancaster; 58 in Saugus; 61 in Burbank, Woodland Hills and at LAX; and 62 in downtown L-A, Pasadena, San Gabriel and Long Beach.

A combination of sunny and partly cloudy skies was forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 41 on Santiago Peak; 52 on Ortega Highway at 26- hundred feet; 57 in Fremont Canyon; 58 in Trabuco Canyon and in Laguna Beach; 59 in San Clemente; 60 in Newport Beach and Yorba Linda; 61 in Mission Viejo; and 62 in Fullerton, Anaheim and Irvine.

City News Service