If your resolutions for 2023 include getting outside more often, New Year’s Day provides an opportunity for a good start.
After a day of rain that intensified in the afternoon hours, Southern Californians are waking up to sunny skies and cooler temperatures. The brunt of the storm moved out of Los Angeles County overnight, prompting evacuation warnings for areas inundated by wildfires.
Mostly dry conditions are expected on Sunday with some intermittent rain across Orange County and the Inland Empire. Strong offshore winds are likely.
Skies are forecast for sunny Monday morning when Pasadena hosts the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game.
Another fast-moving storm system could arrive Tuesday and continue through at least Thursday.
“Throughout the seven-day forecast, we have a very good chance of rain,” said NBC4 meteorologist David Biggar.
“Our next arrival of that rain will be late Monday night Tuesday,” Birger said. “It looks like two days of rain, but it’s essentially a system that’s going to last through the night hours.”
Wednesday brings more rain before a significant system moves over the region on Thursday, when Southern California will receive heavy rain. Conditions turn dry on Friday before further rain on Saturday.
“There’s a good chance of rain, no need for sprinklers for the next week or two,” Biggar said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued an ocean water quality rainfall advisory in effect until at least 7 a.m. Tuesday. With more rain forecast, the advisory may be extended.
Health officials note that storm water runoff that reaches the ocean can contain bacteria, chemicals, waste, and other health hazards. Health officials said people coming in contact with water from the affected sea could become ill.
By the end of December, about 98 per cent of the state was in the grip of drought. More than 80 per cent of the state was in the grip of severe drought, the third most severe category in the weekly drought monitoring report.
A portion of the agricultural Central Valley north of Los Angeles remained exceptionally dry, in the most severe category. The extreme drought extended from northern Los Angeles County through the central part of the state to the Oregon border.
California has spent much of the past 15 years in drought conditions. The current three-year drought includes one of the driest late winters on record.
The state’s normal rainy season runs from late autumn to late winter, but the disappointing rainfall left nearly 95 percent of California in severe drought by early spring. By September, almost all of California was in the grip of a drought.
Most of California’s water comes from melting snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In an ideal scenario, storms cover the mountains with snow during the winter, creating natural reservoirs. That snow then melts in late spring and early summer, refilling the state’s water system. Snowfall in the spring of 2022 was well below normal.
California posted its first three months of the year on record to start 2022. The dry stretch followed a promising December, as storms pounded parts of the state and snow brought snow to the Sierra Nevada mountains.
But the late-fall storm provided cause for optimism. Snowpack levels in the state of California exceeded 200 percent of normal in mid-December, with December’s powerful storms blanketing the Sierra Nevada mountains in snow.
In December 2021, snowfall across the state was 22 percent below normal.