Normally, this time of year is spent by many in the Coachella Valley Instagramming the snow-capped mountains and freaking out every few days over some water falling from the sky. While last winter brought the desert a fuck ton of precipitation (technical term), this year has seen a whole lot of nothing. So, is it ever going to rain again?
In the short term, the answer is a big fat no. The 10-day forecast for Palm Springs has no rain in sight and temperatures rising into the 80s in January – so, I guess you can just go ahead and put away that new hoodie you got for Christmas.
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) December 19, 2017
But what about beyond that?
Probably not. As NBC 4 notes, a La Niña pattern has left So Cal very dry – with only 2% of our average rainfall total falling as of December 29. It’s the driest start to the rainy season since 1962, according to the TV station.
The last significant rain even in Southern California was all the way back in February of 2017, according to the National Weather Service. Since then, there has been a record dry spell across much of Southwestern California. In Downtown Los Angeles, rainfall between
March 1st and December 31st totaled just 0.69 inches. That was far below the second lowest total rainfall of time, which was 1.24 inches set in 1962.
National Weather Service meteorologist David Sweet told the Verge that the reason for the dry winter in Southern California is a phenomenon called an “atmospheric ridge,” a high pressure system diverting storms around an area. And Sweet says it’s only getting worse this year.
“We were dry before and now the prospects for rain look even less likely because of the size of this thing,” Sweet said.