SoCal Still Mired in Record Dry Conditions as NorCal Gets Soaked

As the state enters its sixth year of drought, Northern California is seeing some significant relief thanks to a series of powerful storms, while Southern California remains mired in record dry conditions.

The banks of Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet are dry and cracked in this photo.  (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The banks of Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet are dry and cracked in this photo. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Despite a rainstorm set to hit the Southland this week, the region continues to face an unprecedented lack of precipitation, recording only 60% of average rainfall this month. By contrast, communities from the Bay Area north to the Oregon border have recorded 200% to 300% of the average this month, according to the National Weather Service.

It’s a pattern Californians saw last winter, when the much-hyped El Niño phenomenon was expected to soak Southern California but instead steered north, blanketing the northern Sierra Nevada in snow and leaving Angelenos and their neighbors in the dust.

“We can only hope as the winter progresses we’ll get the rains to go farther south,” said Reginald Kennedy, a National Weather Service hydrologist. “Nothing in the climate forecast wants to tip its hat.”

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