Sky watching on the left coast

In the midst of a 4-year severe drought, Southern Californians little remember the four recent times (since 1950) when the area was drenched by rain for prolonged periods. Past El Niños have brought in excess of a dozen inches of rain to downtown L.A.: more than 20 inches in 1957-58 and 1972-73, more than 15 inches in 1965-66, and more than 25 inches in 1997-98.

No one can predict with 100% certainty that the drought will end soon due to the current El Niño condition reported in the news accounts and the 'social current see' that follows, but the chances are greater than most believe due to the historical record of these events.

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