Not only have the usual January rains been a no-show, it’s been downright summery. But some showers and cooler conditions are expected Wednesday through Monday, meteorologists say.
By Hector Becerra
January 19 2009, 10:30 PM PST
Another toasty day in downtown Los Angeles on Monday marked nine straight days of temperatures above 80 degrees, a record for January. Last year, L.A. broke a record for hottest October.
So when is L.A. going to break a record for much needed rain? Probably not soon in this La Niña-baked year, meteorologists say. But the region should get some rain starting Wednesday.
“We’re finally in for a regime change,” said Jamie Meier, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “It’s expected to cool things down considerably.”
For a while, L.A. seemed to be on a path to a normal rain year. But since a series of storms in December, the region has become parched and Santa Ana wind-blown. L.A. is about an inch below normal for rain for this time of year, Meier said.
The heat streak is expected to end today, with temperatures in the high 70s, Meier said. A series of light to moderate rains could arrive Wednesday and continue through Monday.
Still, Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, said it is a bad sign when January, normally one of the year’s wettest months, is so dry. It’s also been three degrees warmer than usual, he said.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean’s waters are cooler than usual.
That means La Niña conditions, which often bring colder weather and heavier rainfall from the Pacific Northwest to the northeast but drier conditions to Southern California and much of the Southwest.
The snowpack in the northern, eastern and central Sierra has been “puny,” Patzert said.
“We just had 10 days in a row of humidity less than 10% and record high temperatures in January,” he said. “That’s definitely not a good omen.”
The temperature streak in the 80s is even more noteworthy because the downtown L.A. weather station is on the USC campus, several miles closer to the cooling ocean than where it previously was, Patzert said.
“When they moved the station to USC, it made downtown L.A. one degree cooler,” he said. “So this record is even bigger than it looks.”
With the announcement of La Nina conditions just proves that our ” little theory” of the goats knowing it was going to be a warmer than normal winter. Most goats, when healthy, will grow a nice thick coat of hair in the fall. When cold weather is around the corner, a white fuzzy layer of hair (called the undercoat) is noticeable. This undercoat is what keeps the goat warm. so apparently they new back in Fall they didn’t need it this year.
Even more unusual is that we have a patch of self sow sunflowers that are loaded with blooms.
Doesn’t sound good on the rain front…. gonna be a long, hot year.