How California’s rainy season is shaping up so far

With its Mediterranean climate, California receives most of its annual rainfall in just a few months, with most of it falling between December and February.

This means that by March 1 we usually have a good idea of ​​how much water we will have for the rest of the year.

The state tracks based on a “water year” that runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, so the entire winter rainy season will fall into the same year’s statistics. As of Sunday, California has had slightly more rain than usual this winter — 105 percent of average, according to state data.

Some parts of the state, however, saw much more rain than usual.

Los Angeles, which had just endured one of the wettest storm systems on record, received 159 percent average annual rainfall as of Sunday. San Diego was at 133 percent and Paso Robles at 160 percent.

Although winter storms have often been damaging, they are generally good news for water supplies. The state’s reservoirs are at a healthy 119 percent of their normal levels, in part because they are still benefiting from the back-to-back “atmospheric rivers” that flooded California last winter.

But the state’s snowpack, which accumulates in the Sierra Nevada and typically provides 30 percent of the state’s water supply for the year, isn’t doing so well.

Last year’s snowpack was one of the biggest on record, but as of Monday this year there was only about 82 percent of the average. Snowpack levels typically peak around April 1, the end of California’s rainy season, and current levels are just 70 percent of the April 1 average, according to state data.

But that could soon change.

A powerful storm is expected to reach Eastern California on Thursday and last through Sunday, bringing high winds and plenty of snow, forecasters said. The storm could drop seven to eight feet of snow in the eastern Sierra and three to four feet in Lake Tahoe, according to Brittany Whitlam, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Reno, Nev.

Forecasters are warning citizens to reconsider travel plans in the mountains, as slippery roads and dangerous gusts of wind are expected. There have been other big storms in the region recently, but “this is definitely the biggest we’ve seen so far this season,” Whitlam told me.

A California couple has given a lot to charity. But that comes with questioning.


What are the best California movies? “Chinatown”? “Vertigo”? “La La Land”?

Tell us which movie you would put on the list of California movies and why. Email us at CAtoday@nytimes.com. Please provide your full name and city where you live.


For nearly 65 years, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Musical Instrument Repair Shop has been tuning, maintaining and repairing instruments for LA public school students.

Since its inception, the workshop has been a vital but unseen part of the school system’s renowned music program, which is among the last in a major American city to provide students with free musical instruments and repairs.

Now, thanks to new funding, the future of the workshop — and the LA school music program — is secured, KTLA reports.

The LAUSD Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funding for the school district, announced a $15 million capital campaign last week to support the repair shop and ensure its longevity.

The fundraising effort was inspired by a recent Oscar-nominated documentary about the workshop called “The Last Workshop,” which follows four of the workshop’s 12 technicians as they repair the county’s 130,000 instruments. The film was made by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers, a former Los Angeles Unified student who discovered an early love of music while playing the piano at school.

The campaign, which has already received support from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, another local non-profit, will also establish a student apprenticeship program to train future artisans.

“This store is one of the cornerstones of what makes Los Angeles the creative capital of the world,” Alberto M. Carvalho, United Nations Los Angeles supervisor, said in a statement. “The time has come to call on progressive leaders in this city to ensure that no child in Los Angeles who wants to play an instrument is ever denied that opportunity.”


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

PS Here today’s Mini Crossword.

Maia Coleman and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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