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Will this winter's rain mark a turning point for L.A.'s drought conditions?

Rain Los Angeles
Courtesy: Ta/Flickr

Though the wet weather last week caused extra-lousy traffic, flight delays and last-minute plan changes, it was the perfect present for Los Angeles; over 24 hours of steady rain accumulating about an inch of rainfall—more than we've seen in ages. For a city plagued by more than five years of draught (the driest five years in Downtown L.A. on record since official records began almost 140 years ago!), any rain is good news. But this particular weather pattern may be a gift that keeps on giving.

According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist Bill Patzert, as told to the L.A. Times, this winter's rains (including more headed our way this weekend) are coming from a different area of the Pacific than last year's disappointing El Niño rains, which were mostly diverted north of the city due to a ridge of high pressure. This year? No ridge in the way, which means storms brewing in both the north and the south will (hopefully!) reach us. This, as Patzert says, "is a good omen for the wet months of January, February and March."

And steady rainfall over the next three months is our best bet at getting relief from draught conditions. According to the National Weather Service and U.S. Draught Report, moderate rain over weeks and months is just what provided long-lasting relief for 15 percent of the state of California (most of it up north).

There's reason for cautious optimism heading into 2017; and if we get more rainy days than usual this year (we can only hope!), here are some ways to make the most of the wet weather, from free museums and indoor kids activities to where to find a steamy bowl of soup.

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