Unusual Dry Spell in Southern California: August Rainfall Defies Norms

In August, even the rainfall in Southern California is unusually dry.

A rare instance of drizzly weather impacted parts of Southern California on Wednesday and might extend into Thursday, preceding an upcoming heatwave predicted for the following week, according to the National Weather Service.

However, much of the precipitation evaporated in the warm air before reaching the ground, as explained by a meteorologist based in Oxnard.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a number of weather stations in Ventura County, the Los Angeles County mountains, and the high desert recorded only a small amount of rainfall, “a couple hundredths of an inch,” noted meteorologist Kristan Lund from the weather service.

Lund explained, “A lot of what’s falling is referred to as virga. This means it’s highly dry… so it doesn’t make it to the ground. It rains from the clouds, creating a wispy appearance.”

Any amount of rain is atypical for August in Southern California.

This “rainfall” comes from the remains of the now-dissipated Tropical Storm Eugene, which formed off the coast of Baja California earlier this week.

“We receive these remnants occasionally,” remarked Lund, mentioning that last August, Hurricane Kay led to similar conditions.

Lund also mentioned thunderstorms emerging off the coastline and in the mountains on Wednesday. The weather service indicated a 20% to 30% chance of these overcast conditions persisting into Thursday.

These thunderstorms pose a wildfire risk due to lightning strikes in the dry vegetation.

“We urge people to exercise caution and stay indoors if they hear thunder,” Lund advised. “Be vigilant and mindful of your surroundings.”

Following the passage of the tropical storm remnants, the upcoming weekend will bring another warm spell. The weather is expected to peak early next week.

Lund stated, “During the weekend, Woodland Hills will experience temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s, and downtown LA will see temperatures in the 80s.”

In the early part of the next week, temperatures in places like Woodland Hills and Santa Clarita could climb into the hundreds and 90s, respectively, while coastal areas will remain cooler in the 70s.

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