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Climate and Environment

Rains In Southern California Busted Old Records, Including One Set In 1940

A topographical map of the U.S. shows the West Coast in shades of green, blues, purple and red indicating rainfall totals from .01 to 4 inches.
The 24 hours rainfall totals from Monday to Tuesday.
(Courtesy NOAA)
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Monday’s rain may not be likely to put an end to wildfire risk for the rest of the fall, but the National Weather Service reports that it was enough to set records in several spots.

Not only did LAX see a new record for daily maximum rainfall for October 25, the Long Beach and Paso Robles airports did as well.

Here are the new records:

  • Camarillo Airport: 0.7 (Old Record 0.39 was set in 1940)
  • Long Beach Airport: 0.13 (Old record 0.08 was set in 2010)
  • LAX: 0.39 (Old record 0.19 was set in 1951)
  • Paso Robles Airport: 1.54 (Old record 0.18 was set in 1950)
  • Santa Barbara Airport: 0.96 (Old record 0.02 was set in 2000)
  • Santa Maria Airport: 1.28 (Old record 0.3 was set in 1951)
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This latest series of atmospheric rivers came as something of a surprise, as we don’t often see rain in October. Usually precipitation doesn’t start to show up until mid to late November.

By this time last year we’d seen zero inches of precipitation in Southern California.

Northern California also saw record setting precipitation with more than five inches of rain falling in some parts, and snow showing up high in the Sierra Nevada.

We’ll need quite a few more substantial storms to build up our snowpack, fill our reservoirs, and alleviate drought conditions.

Back here in Southern California, a high surf advisory is in place until Wednesday, with six to ten foot waves expected in many spots. That said, if you care about your health you should really consider avoiding getting barreled in poop water.

What do you want to know about fires, earthquakes, climate change or any science-related topics?
Jacob Margolis helps Southern Californians understand the science shaping our imperfect paradise and gets us prepared for what’s next.