L.A. is suffering through the “driest year in 130 years of recordkeeping,” as the Washington Post reports.
The nation’s second-largest city is short nearly a foot of rain for the year from July 1, 2006, to June 30. Just 3.21 inches has fallen downtown in those 12 months, closer to Death Valley’s numbers than the normal average of 15.14 inches.
It is much the same all over the West, from the measly snowpack and fire-scarred Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada to Arizona’s shrinking Lake Powell and the shriveling Colorado River watershed.
Indeed, “America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Or perhaps worse still.” Of course, Hell and High Water wouldn’t be complete without devastating rains elsewhere in the country:
Texas has experienced one of its wettest springs after back-to-back years of record drought. As of Friday morning, 10.97 inches of rain had fallen for the month at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. That is half an inch short of what fell in June 1928, the rainiest month on record….
The central Texas cities of Austin and San Antonio have received nearly twice as much rain as usual for June. And earlier this week, about 18 inches of rain fell overnight near Marble Falls, about 40 miles northwest of Austin. Boats and helicopters rescued people who scrambled atop buildings and vehicles.
Even typically parched West Texas is getting drenched. So far this year, Lubbock had received 17.39 inches of rain — just over an inch shy of the amount it usually gets during the entire year.