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Today's Storm Is A Bit Weird, But Calm Down, LA. May Rain Is Totally Normal

Today's rainstorm is so weak that everything dried out before we could get a photo of wetness for the web. So here's one from Jan 31. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
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After a warm, sunny weekend, we're suddenly back to sweater weather.

The roads are (kind of) wet, the sky is grey, and the air is humid. There's water falling from above, IN MAY. Should everyone be freaking out?

Not really.


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While California receives the majority of its rain between December and the start of April, it's completely normal to see some occasional May wetness.

"It's not crazy by any standards," said Bruno Rodriguez, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego. "The fact that we're coming off a pretty extended drought is probably making this seem a little more fascinating than it really is."

We're so used to dry weather, you may not have realized that last month we actually saw less rain than average, per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

During winter, jet streams typically dump storms on us, but as things warm up and summer makes its debut the atmospheric currents shift northward, pushing precipitation towards the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

We're in that transition period right now.


Thursday's storm system developed in the Pacific Ocean and NWS forecasters are calling it "unseasonable," a.k.a. unusual for this time of year.

Light to moderate rain is expected to linger through Thursday and the storm also brings the chance of thunder and hail.

"The main impacts with this storm system will be the potential for localized roadway and small stream flooding, travel delays, and downed tree limbs or power lines due to gusty winds," NWS officials said.

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Later Thursday, though the general May grey we've been living with (which is also completely normal!) will likely stick around.

"This is pretty typical," Rodriguez said. "And it's going to continue through May and probably into June."

So hold on to your hats, L.A.

This year we might even see some light rain in the summer (*faints onto chaise lounge*).

And if we do, check back in with us. We'll let you know if you should freak out.


8:10 a.m. Thursday, May 15: This article was updated with details of a Pacific storm system making its way through SoCal.

3:33 p.m.: This article was updated with more details about precipitation in Santa Barbara.

This article was originally published at 1 p.m.

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