Seems It Never Rains in Southern California

In 1972, Albert Hammond released a song entitled “It Never Rains in Southern California.” Oddly enough, I hear this song in my head when it’s actually raining. That’s not due to the title, but instead to another line in the song, “It pours, man, it pours!” And pour it did this past week.
No post yesterday, as I was victimized by the rains. I found out that ants require oxygen, and when their colonies get flooded, they don’t wait around for buses to take them out – instead they invade the nearest warm, dry spot they can find. In this case, it was my house. I didn’t bother to count them, but they easily numbered in the thousands – during each of the three waves of invasions yesterday morning. After a couple hours of ant removal, I gave up on a blog for the day.
One thought did occur to me though: ants require oxygen, but what do they do with it? Just like their smaller brethren, the microorganisms that we blogged about on January 11, these guys produce carbon dioxide. Al Gore should get one of his pals in Congress to introduce legislation prohibiting ants, as yet another creative way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But, I digress.
My rain-related malady was hardly noteworthy, compared to real disasters on roadways, with mud slides, tornadoes (Yeah! In L.A.!), mandatory evacuations, etc. As little rain as we get, somehow Southern California still has a tough time dealing with it when “it pours.”
I saw a letter to the editor in the LA Daily News from a guy who wanted to know why screens were placed in front of storm drains. To him, the purpose seemed to be to clog up the drain and cause flooding. I hope this was a joke. The debris doesn’t disappear when it enters the storm drain! We “catch” it in the “catch basin” or screens so that it DOESN’T clog the storm drain! If the clog was not out in the open, it would be buried beneath the streets somewhere, and we’d have to dig up the street just to clear the storm drain. This guy needs to stop writing letters to the editor – it’s going to make him late to his MENSA meetings.
But there definitely is good news to the rains: we need the water. An average January in Los Angeles will see about four inches of rain. For the first 17 days of what is normally the second wettest month of the year, we saw zero rain. From a water supply standpoint, things were looking real grim until this storm, which brought us over 6 inches of rain. That’s nice, but it’s going to take a few more winter storms – hopefully a bit less intense – just to get us to an average year. And since we started this water year with a shortage in our reservoirs, we really need to be well above average this year. But this last week was a big help, for sure.
I am pretty sure that I’m not the only one that’s sick of the rain. Let’s hope we get to dry out for a few days, and get a chance to clear out the debris basins, the downed trees, and the mud flows. But after that, we should start praying for more rain.

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