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February 2024 rain totals soar amid very wet month

By Reginald Stanley. Posted March 1, 2024, 4:05 PM.

February was a very wet month across Southern California in 2024, with a substantial portion of the month's rain attributed to persistent atmospheric river events - two of which stalled over the region - early in the month.

The region experienced its heaviest, most significant rains of the 2023-2024 water year over a 72-hour period lasting from February 4-6, with additional storms continuing to soak the region afterwards. Some inland locations received more rain in three days than during several entire rainy seasons, including Murrieta where the 3.64 inches that fell there during February 4-6 exceeding all of the rain that fell during the entire 2006-2007 water year there (2.87 inches). Many areas also experienced their most significant rains since Hilary impacted Southern California as a tropical storm in August 2023. Coastal parts of both Los Angeles and San Diego were hit hard by flooding, although these floods were generally short-lived. At the USC campus in Los Angeles, a staggering 12.66 inches was recorded during all of February 2024 - approximately 337 percent above normal for the month (3.76 inches) and their wettest February since 1998. A total of 4.10 inches was recorded there on February 4 alone, setting a daily record for the date. Monthly totals were much less dramatic for portions of Southern California south and east of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, although still impressive - at San Diego's Lindbergh Field, February ended with 4.58 inches there, or 200 percent of normal.

In the WeatherCurrents network, precipitation totals for the month of February exceeded monthly averages at every station and propelled 2023-2024 season totals to above-average across the majority of communities - not only as of March 1st, but for the entire water year ending June 30. Lake Elsinore's February total of 9.05 inches was the highest in the WeatherCurrents network, and was followed by modest monthly totals in Fallbrook, Moreno Valley and Simi Valley as well. East Hemet and San Jacinto both matched each other's totals of 5.62 inches for the month, while the Temecula Valley and its surroundings largely fell between 6 and 7 inches by the end of the month. Anza's location, much further east and higher in elevation than most WeatherCurrents stations, received the lowest amount for the month with 3.78 inches - still over 200 percent of normal there.

This year's bountiful February rains have recovered what was previously a struggling rainy season, growing a fresh layer of vibrant green grasses across Southern California's landscapes, and covered the region's taller mountain ranges with a fresh coat of snow. The region will begin March with an immediate return to brief, but wet weather heading into the weekend as a cold storm from the Gulf of Alaska impacts southern part of the state late Friday and Saturday. Yet another chance of precipitation is in the forecast for the middle of next week.

Here are the rain totals for the WeatherCurrents network and associates. Note that February averages may be skewed lower than normal due to the region experiencing many anomalously dry Februaries throughout the 2010s decade.

Location February 2024 February average Source
Lake Elsinore 9.05"  3.02"  WeatherCurrents
South Fallbrook 8.30"  3.06"  WeatherCurrents
Moreno Valley 7.93"  1.91"  WeatherCurrents
Simi Valley 7.79"  2.53"  WeatherCurrents
Pinon Hills 7.28"  1.84"  WeatherCurrents
Central Murrieta 7.12"  2.10"  Reginald Stanley
Northwest Murrieta 6.96"  3.00"  WeatherCurrents
Riverside (Orangecrest) 6.68"  1.73"  WeatherCurrents
South Temecula 6.57"  2.96"  WeatherCurrents
French Valley 6.27"  2.16"  WeatherCurrents
East Hemet 5.62"  2.61"  WeatherCurrents
San Jacinto 5.62"  2.12"  WeatherCurrents
Anza 3.78"  1.83"  WeatherCurrents
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