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The Last Five Years Were Driest Ever Recorded In L.A.

downtown_dry.jpg
Looking a little dry there. (Photo by Richard Sheehan via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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As if we need more reminders that the drought is still ongoing.

The National Weather Service said on Wednesday that downtown L.A.'s 5-year rainfall total was the lowest ever recorded, reports the L.A. Times. The news is all the more dispiriting when you take into account that official record keeping started nearly 140 years ago.

Since July of 2011, downtown has recorded an average of 7.75 inches of rain every year, NWS meteorologist Scott Sukup told the Times. The 5-year total amounts to 38.79 inches, which is about half of what meteorologists would expect. According to LA Weekly, this past rain season saw only 9.65 inches of rain by June 30, which is 64% of what is normal.

Of course, one of the biggest factors is that El Niño, which was touted as being "too big to fail," fizzled out and failed to bring ample rainfall to the Southland.

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The consequences of such a dry 5-year period are far-reaching, and perhaps we haven't seen the full impact yet. The drought has helped destroy some trees in Elysian Park. And health experts believe that the dryness may be connected to a rise in cases of the West Nile virus.

On a more encouraging note, it seems that residents have been doing their part in conserving water. The State Water Resources Control Board said that, when compared to figures from May of 2013, residents have cut their water usage by 28% this past May. And in June the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California said that we've conserved enough water to be totally OK for the next three years.