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May storm brings rain, snow and cool temperatures to region

Southern Californians had a wet commute Thursday morning after an unusual May storm dumped rain and snow on the region.

Rainfall totals through 8 a.m. included: 0.36 inches in downtown Los Angeles, 0.34 inches in Long Beach, 0.10 inches at Los Angeles International Airport, 0.63 inches in Burbank and 1.90 inches in Pasadena, according to the National Weather Service.

The areas that received the most rainfall were in the San Gabriel Valley and the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County.

The rain lingered into Thursday morning, resulting in light showers during the morning commute, but it is expected to decrease significantly by the afternoon, according to National Weather Service meteorologist David Sweet. Friday could see some possible isolated light showers before the rain comes to an end.

“We do occasionally get storms in May but it does tend to be unusual,” Sweet said. “The interesting thing about this particular weather pattern is that it’s almost identical to what we had in January and February, with the cold low-pressure systems dropping from Canada or Gulf of Alaska to the West Coast.”

Temperatures are about 10 to 20 degrees below normal, with a forecast high of 58 to 64 degrees for Thursday, but it’s expected to warm up gradually throughout the weekend into next week, Sweet said. Temperatures are expected to range in the mid- to upper 60s over the weekend and warm up into the mid-70s by next week.

“I think even early next week, we’re gonna be a few degrees below normal still because this pattern that we’re in is going to persist and the effects will retreat to Northern California,” Sweet said. “We won’t be getting clouds and rain, but we’ll be kind of cool.”

A series of storms this year has largely alleviated the drought in California, replenished reservoirs and snowpacks and helped quell wildfire danger.

Since Oct. 1, the beginning of the rainfall season, downtown Los Angeles has received 27.55 inches of rain, compared to the 13.73 inches it usually gets during a regular year, according to Sweet. That puts the rainfall amount about 200% above normal.

This calendar year has had the 20th highest rainfall total on record for downtown Los Angeles, with 22.74 inches of rain, even though it’s only May, Sweet said.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows only parts of desert regions in California being “abnormally dry” or experiencing moderate drought.

“This rainfall that we got was very impressive because we were dealing with a significant drought before the season,” Sweet said. “And now after the season — no drought.”

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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