Storms Provide High Surf/Rainfall

Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board Member Janet Anderson was at the base of Temescal Canyon at Will Rogers Historic Beach on Sunday. She said, “I’ve never seen surfers here before.” Three surfers were taking advantage of the large waves at that location.


Pacific Palisades rainfall season starts on July 1 and runs through June 30. The annual average in Pacific Palisades is 13.78 inches of rain.

The area is well on its way to making its average after the December 22 storm dropped 3.6 tenths of rain in the gauge on Radcliffe. A Highlands neighbor, who was located in the Santa Monica Mountains received about an inch more (4.7) in that rain gauge.

The most recent rain, December 29-30, dropped about .9 inches of rain. More showers are predicted on Wednesday.

The storms in the Pacific have resulted in high surf and dangerous rip currents. This editor was driving on the 405 to Redondo, when an alert was sent out to watch for currents and high surf. This editor assumes the alerts were for the coast and not the freeway.

Earlier this year Hurricane Hilary, which was classified as a Category 4 hurricane on August 16, and downgraded to a tropical storm early August 20, provided steady rain. Then, rain gauge off Radcliffe Avenue, 3.5 inches of rain was captured. A rain gauge in the Highlands captured 4.5 inches of rain.

About three tenths of an inch of rain fell November 15 and about another two tenths fell Friday night into Saturday morning.

Total rainfall on Radcliffe Avenue through December 30 is 8.5 inches of rain.

Last year, Palisades had 32.1 inches of rain.

Waves were crashing high on the beach. One Beach and Harbor official at Will Rogers Beach at the base of Temescal said, “The big waves just keep coming.”


The late Ted Mackie kept records of the rainfall. He had reported that the driest cycle was the five years between 1987 and 1991, when Pacific Palisades received less than 10 inches of rain each year.

The five wettest years were 1978, 1983, 1995, 1998 and 2006. The most rain recorded here was 42.60 inches in 1997-1998.

The five driest years on record were 1976, 1990, 2007, 2012 and 2014.

Since 1942, the driest season in the Palisades was 4.11 inches in 2006-2007. The 2013-2014 season ended with 6.13 inches.

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