This week will see a real rarity in Los Angeles: Rain. Forecasts currently predict rain on Thursday, with more on the way Saturday. It’s been a while since L.A.’s last major downpour, so whether you’re a new transplant or long-time Angeleno, here’s what you need to know about rainy days in L.A.
It’s often been said that Angelenos don’t know how to drive in the rain, and statistics back that up. During a January storm earlier this year, car accidents quadrupled, according to CBS Los Angeles. Poor drivers aren’t the only reason for this, however. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan, the initial coating of rain mixes with deposits of oil from vehicles, which causes slick roads and makes for dangerous driving. Be sure to check traffic conditions before you go anywhere, and take plenty of time to get there.
Prepare for Floods and Landslides
With recent fires scouring parts of Los Angeles County, many will think of rain as a blessing. Flooding and landslides could become risks soon, though, experts warn. Angelenos living in burn areas, or areas prone to flooding, have been advised to keep stormwater troughs, pipes and culverts free of debris, and secure trash containers and household waste, in case of flooding.
Beware Biological Hazards
If areas of Los Angeles do flood, that could be bad news for anyone living near storm drains, or along the coast. Runoff from heavy rain can reach the ocean via concrete channels like the Los Angeles River, and carry trash with it. Popular beaches may be closed for a few days after rainfall if this happens, and water quality can remain gross for some time.
Listen to the Experts
Above all, make sure to exercise common sense during rain showers. Don’t cross heavily-flooded areas, and make sure to stay tuned into local news. One way to follow along news developments is to follow your local news on social media – The Hub will periodically post news developments, but the National Weather Service can also be a handy contact to have.
Don’t Get Used To It
California is in dire need of rain, but it’s not likely to receive much. Over the past year, Los Angeles has gotten just four inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. It was the third driest year in California history. No rain this season could mean more drought in California’s future.