How California’s Rainy Season Is Shaping Up So Far - The World News

How California’s Rainy Season Is Shaping Up So Far

With its Mediterranean climate, California receives most of its annual precipitation in just a few months, with the bulk of it falling from December to February.

That means that by the time March 1 comes around, we usually have a good sense of how much water we’re going to have for the rest of the year.

The state keeps track based on a “water year” that runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, so the whole winter rainy season will fall in the same year’s statistics. As of Sunday, California had received slightly more rain than usual this winter — 105 percent of the average, according to state data.

In some parts of the state, though, it’s been much rainier than normal.

Los Angeles, which just endured one of its wettest storm systems on record, had received 159 percent of its annual average rainfall as of Sunday. San Diego was at 133 percent, and Paso Robles at 160.

Though the winter storms have often been damaging, they’re mostly good news for the water supply. The state’s reservoirs are at a healthy 119 percent of their normal levels, in part because they are still benefiting from the back-to-back “atmospheric rivers” that slammed California last winter.

But the state’s snowpack, which accumulates in the Sierra Nevada and typically provides 30 percent of the state’s water supply for the year, isn’t faring quite as well.

Last year’s snowpack was one of the largest on record, but as of Monday the snowpack this year was only about 82 percent of average. Snowpack levels typically peak around April 1, the end of California’s rainy season, and the current levels are only 70 percent of the April 1 average, according to state data.

But that could change soon.

A heavy storm is expected to arrive in eastern California on Thursday and last through Sunday, bringing strong winds and plenty of snow, forecasters say. The storm could drop seven to eight feet of snow in the eastern Sierra, and three to four feet at Lake Tahoe, according to Brittany Whitlam, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Reno, Nev.

Forecasters are warning people to reconsider travel plans in the mountains, because the roads there are expected to be slick and the wind gusts dangerous. There have been other sizable storms in the region recently, but “this is definitely the biggest we’ve seen so far this season,” Whitlam told me.

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For almost 65 years, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s musical instrument repair shop has been tuning, maintaining and fixing up instruments for L.A.’s public school students.

Since its founding, the workshop has been a vital but unseen part of the school system’s noted music program, which is among the last in a major U.S. city to provide free musical instruments and repairs to students.

Now, thanks to new funding, the future of the workshop — and L.A.’s school music program — has been secured, KTLA reports.

The L.A.U.S.D. Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funding to the school district, announced a $15 million capital campaign last week to support the repair shop and ensure its longevity.

The fund-raising effort was inspired by a recent Oscar-nominated documentary about the workshop called “The Last Repair Shop,” which follows four of the workshop’s 12 technicians as they repair the district’s 130,000 instruments. The film was made by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers, a Los Angeles Unified alumnus who discovered an early love of music while playing piano at school.

The campaign, which has already received support from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, another local nonprofit, will also establish a student apprenticeship program to train future craftsmen.

“This shop is one of the cornerstones of what makes Los Angeles the creative capital of the world,” Alberto M. Carvalho, the Los Angeles Unified superintendent, said in a statement. “The time has come to call on forward-thinking leaders in this city to ensure that no child in Los Angeles who wants to play an instrument will ever be denied that opportunity.”

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Maia Coleman and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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