March 06, 2007
Los Angeles on pace for DRIEST RAIN YEAR EVER - With little moisture in usually wet February, meteorologists said Los Angeles is facing its driest year ever with less than 2 1/2 inches of rain so far. Prolonged dry weather, which extended the wildfire season, comes just two years after the region was awash with a near-record 37 inches of rain. Eleven inches fell that February, usually the region's rainiest month. This year the Southern California rain gauge has only measured 2.42 inches — 0.92 inch of it falling in February. Normal annual rainfall in Los Angeles is 11.43 inches and there's no rain in the forecast for the next 10 days. The last time it was this dry was in 1923-1924 season when 2.50 inches of rain was recorded through March 22, 1924. March to early April is about the end of their wet season. "It would take several very intense storms one after the other to get us to normal and that's very unlikely." Weather models suggest that an emerging La Nina pattern of cold water in the tropical Pacific will keep the area dry. "We've had more windstorms than rainstorms. This has been a REALLY UNUSUAL winter." Santa Ana winds that normally die out in February have persisted into March.