December Rain Could Be Sign of Wetter Times to Come in Drought-Plagued SoCal, NASA Climatologist Says

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Southern Californians can expect rain this Christmas weekend, which could complicate travel plans for motorists. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

There’s something unusual in the mix in Southern California this weekend, along with the usual rain-caused traffic gridlock and airport delays, according to one climatologist — a sense of optimism.

The storm that moved though the region on Wednesday and Thursday provided a good 24 hours of mostly steady rain, dropping more than an inch in some parts of Southern California.

The rain contributed to nightmare conditions at Los Angeles International Airport, where bad weather, crowded airspace, security scares and construction caused some flights to be delayed or rerouted. The storm also caused the usual share of traffic congestion and accidents.

But in a region that has been hit hard by five years of severe drought, the hope is that this winter marks something of a turning point.

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