April Showers Bring…. Hey, Where Did All the Rain Go? Spring, the time when the days get longer, the clothes get thinner and everyone gets ready for the warm months ahead. In April, there’s another tradition that most folks would probably like to see come to an end; having weather forecasters say; “April showers bring May flowers”, every time it rains in April. The question is do they, I mean, really? Well, if you went by statistical information in Los Angeles, the answer would be no. In fact, if it truly were up to April showers to usher in a new LA bloom each year, the Southland would be completely bereft of flowers. Simply put, it doesn’t rain in April in the LA area. Sure, the prevailing thought is that it never rains in LA at all, at least that’s what the 1972 classic song “It Never Rains In Southern California” claims, but then again, the guy who wrote and sang the song, Albert Hammond, is British, and to the Brits anything less than a foot of rain each day is considered a drought. That being said, it does rain in LA… sometimes. With data going back to 1877, Los Angeles gets on average a little less than 15 inches of rain each year, with December through March being the rainiest months.
To put that into perspective, Miami experiences the most rainfall in the US, with 60 inches of rain each year or 4 years of Los Angeles rain in one year. Getting back to LA rain in April, on average through the month of April, Los Angeles usually experiences about .98th of an inch of rain. This year, which has already been record setting for rain in Southern California, has seen about .2 inches of rain so far in April, bringing the rainfall back to a more normal LA level. So, if this is the case, what does this say about April showers bringing May flowers? Well, the science is at best muddy, much like the roads out to Malibu are, if it rains for more than 5 continuous minutes. Sure, it’s a fact that more precipitation does stimulate the growth of foliage but if that precipitation came in the form of snow, in cold temperatures, there would be a lot less flowers blooming. So, maybe it’s not that it rains in April, leading to new flower growth in May. Maybe it has to do with the temperature in April being milder and more conducive for stimulating the type of growth we expect each May. This March, LA experienced a perfect example of this, with the now famous “Super Bloom”, in nearby Lake Elsinore. Because of extremely wet weather in January and February, March experienced a bloom unlike any in recent memory. This flower bloom was most noticeable about an hour and a half from LA in beautiful Lake Elsinore. With an overabundance of colors taking over the areas winding hills, people from all over the state and from neighboring states had to make a journey to the Super Bloom so that the could trample it into a faint memory. No, seriously, that’s true. Nature was so amazing that record numbers of people descended on Lake Elsinore and literally destroyed much of the nature they came to see by stepping all over it. It got so bad that the Super Bloom had to be shut down, by local police, proving once and for all that we take pride in destroying what we love. It also proved that rain in April has as much to do with flowers blooming in May, as rain in Spain falling mainly on the plain. Ok, maybe that one was a stretch, but I think you get the idea.
Rain is one of the components in flower growth, but it’s irrelevant to when this happens. January showers could bring February flowers or maybe they won’t. I’m not a scientist, but I did get a B once on an earth science test in high school, so I feel fairly qualified in this hypotenuse, and also in using the term hypotenuse. I think the most important thing to take from this is that it doesn’t rain often in LA and that’s great if you like sun or air conditioning, both of which are in amble supply here. So, go out and enjoy the warm sunny weather or stay inside and cool off from it. Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing!