May showers sprinkle Southern California

Rain in downtown Los Angeles
Blanca Torres wears her face mask and uses an umbrella in downtown Los Angeles on Monday morning as rain douses the Southland amid a cooling trend.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A mid-May shower will spritz Southern California on Monday, bringing a modest —and unusual — bit of rain to the region.

“We’ve got a little torrential drizzle going on,” joked David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Most parts of Los Angeles County can expect to see a quarter-inch or less of rain, forecasters said.


An upper-level low-pressure system from the North Pacific will tap into subtropical moisture, bringing rain to California.

Still, any kind of rainfall is rare this time of year.

“This is atypical. Late in the year, but not unheard of,” Sweet said.

Some parts of the state will get a more thorough soaking, however. Portions of San Luis Obispo County had received upward of half an inch of precipitation by 7 a.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

“It’s basically associated with a weak cold front that is moving through the area, and there’s just enough moisture, just enough lift in the atmosphere to produce some light rain,” Sweet said.

The drizzle will be short-lived, with skies clearing up later Monday.

“Behind the cold front, we’ll see some clearing skies later this afternoon, and we’ll return to more of a typical weather regime starting tonight and into Tuesday, with partly cloudy skies and a gradual warming trend,” Sweet said.

The latest sprinkle continues what has been a late-blooming rain year.

After a dismally dry January and February — when the bulk of the region’s rain usually falls — record-breaking downpours in March and April pushed Los Angeles County back above its typical precipitation levels.