A Few Sprinkles Next Week May Break the Dry Spell

At last, it's going to rain in the Los Angeles area. A little. Maybe.

Forecasters say there's "a chance" of a few light showers by Monday night or Tuesday morning. Not much, but we can't afford to be choosy.

Usually, the rainy season would have struck in earnest by now. But this year, we haven't had any measurable rain since Nov. 1, when 0.09 of an inch fell. That raised the Los Angeles Civic Center total for the season, which began July 1, to a paltry 0.11 of an inch, compared with a normal total for the date of 3.43 inches.

Curtis Brack, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., said the problem this year has been a persistent series of high-pressure systems over the West Coast that have formed an effective barrier against storms from the northern Pacific.

Brack said there is a really big storm developing south of the Aleutian Islands, one mighty enough to break through the barrier and bring some rain to Southern California--about a quarter-inch in the coastal areas and perhaps half an inch in foothill communities--before the cold front moves out to the east sometime Wednesday. What happens after that is still anyone's guess. Brack said the barrier could stay down, allowing more storms to reach Southern California, or it could reform, with more dry weather.

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