The cactus in the Joshua Tree National Forest may be rejoicing, but California has a serious problem. For ALL of 2013, Los Angeles County had only 3.6 inches of rain ... the lowest ever in recorded history. This follows a couple of other years of below average rainfall. The average expected amount of rain is only about 15 inches in LA County and 13 inches in Orange County, but we have not been coming near those amounts recently. When this part of the state receives less than 4 inches, it is a serious problem.
Unfortunately, the problem is not limited to Southern California. Rainfall in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas, as well as the rest of the state, has also been well below normal.
Snowfall has also been quite low. This compounds our problems, because much of the state's water comes from melting snow in the spring.
So, if you are hearing news reports about our pleasant winter weather ... with temperatures around 80 degrees on Christmas Day ... you need to also realize that the heat, drought and low humidity are making our state's fire fighters, farmers and water districts very anxious.
If you are seeing excessive moisture in your part of the country, try to send some our way!
You may also be interested in reading this article about one of our recent winter heatwaves:
(Photo credit: www.morguefile.com)