Los Angeles likely to score driest year since record-keeping began

Dec. 30, 2013 at 7:44 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Los Angeles is on track to set a dry-weather record, with the year looking to end up the driest since official record-keeping started in 1877, experts say.

Only 3.60 inches of rain have been recorded at the National Weather Service station at the University of California since Jan. 1, about half an inch less than was recorded in 1953 and 1947, previously tied for the lowest rainfall years, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The first three months of the year set the city on a record-breaking track; January, February and March are normally when Los Angeles receives most of its rainfall, but the 2013 winter months saw almost no rain.

"And this fall we haven't been able to catch up," Carol Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the Times.

Since Los Angeles imports most of its water from other areas of the state and the Colorado River, water managers say they have ample supplies in reserve despite the rainfall-deprived year.

Still, they say, it's important for city residents to practice conservation, a successful effort that has resulted in Los Angeles using less water today than it did 40 years ago, despite growing by more than 1 million residents.

"Los Angeles has really pulled together to make conservation a priority, and we need to keep this momentum going given what may look to be the third dry year in a row," said Jim McDaniel, senior assistant general manager at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

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