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Where a Rare Summer Storm Set Rainfall Records

It wasn’t much, but Wednesday’s rainfall set records in parts of Los Angeles County.

The rare early summer storms did not have a high bar to meet in a region where rain during the summer is highly unusual.

Here are some of the rainfall records set Wednesday.

  • Long Beach Airport: 0.11 inches of rain broke the old record of a trace set in 1967.
  • Lancaster: 0.51 inches of rain broke the old record of zero inches.
  • Palmdale Airport: 0.3 inches of rain broke the previous record of zero inches.

Thursday is expected to be clear with temperatures above normal. Thunderstorms are possible in Southern California’s mountains.

Most of Southern California remains in severe to extreme drought after a dismal winter of little precipitation. Statewide, nearly 60 percent of California is in extreme drought, the second-most severe category in the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report. Ninety-seven percent of the state is in severe drought.

The worst drought conditions are in the Central Valley north of Los Angeles.

California has spent most of the last 15 years in drought conditions. The current three-year dry spell included one of the driest late winters on record. The state’s normal wet season runs from late fall to the end of winter, but dismal precipitation left about 95 percent of California in severe drought at the start of spring with hot and dry summer months ahead.

The California Drought Monitor map for June 21, 2022.

Much of California’s water comes from melting snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In an ideal scenario, storms blanket the mountains with snow during winter, building up the natural reservoir. That snow then melts in late spring and early summer, replenishing the state’s water system.

Snowpack was far below normal this year.

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