Currently in Los Angeles — January 13th, 2023

The weather, currently.

Friday: partly cloudy and kind of warm. Friday night through Sunday: rain's back.

If you’re superstitious, you’re probably not happy that it’s Friday the 13th, but I am telling you to drop all fears and enjoy this cloudy, warm-ish day (highs at 69°) because another atmospheric river is rolling in at night, muddying up the rest of the weekend. When I look at photos of an atmospheric rivers, I see a long, white serpent emerging from the ocean, an enigmatic creature ready to explore land.

Atmospheric river serpent!

Friday evening, when the serpent queen arrives, it’ll start getting misty, and by Saturday morning we should be back to rainfall. This will push temperatures, both highs and lows, into the 50’s for Saturday and Sunday. We could get short breaks from precipitation, especially on Sunday morning, but don’t count on it to dry up entirely. It could also get quite windy on Saturday, so prep your home again.

—Renée Reizman

What you need to know, currently.

If you want to learn more about how to prepare your home for debris flows, the National Weather Service has a guide. You should move your trash cans and car away from the curb and into your driveway and if you have the means, try and pick up sandbags from your local fire department to help move water away from your home. For even more information on how you should prepare, check out our flash flood explainer.

If you want to know the risk for your area, the USGS has a handy map. If you live in L.A. County, the Department of Public Works predicts debris and mudflow threats across the region whenever it rains. However, if you live in a hilly area that’s burned in the past two years, you should expect some kind of post-fire debris flows amid this heavy rainfall.

And ocean-loving readers beware — public health experts say you should stay out of the ocean for at least five days after rainfall, so you don’t get sick.

Lastly, in preparation for MLK Day, there are several community events and ways you can make change in your community. On Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT at 24th Street Elementary School, you can volunteer or donate to Big Sunday’s 11th Annual MLK Day Clothing Drive & Community Breakfast. You can either sponsor a new clothing bag, buy items from a wishlist, or volunteer in-person. For more information, go to Big Sunday’s site.

You can also volunteer at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during their celebration of King’s life. There’s an environmental racism panel talk, a nonprofit fair, and a vegan food festival. Sign up here to volunteer Monday.


All the parts of the Great Valley of California are no longer facing Extreme Drought — the second-highest level of drought —  like they were just two weeks ago, before the heavy rainfall.

Extreme drought in the state fell from 27.1 percent last week to 0.32 percent, according to the data released by the U.S. Drought Monitor Thursday. Severe drought, the third-highest level, fell from 71 percent to 46 percent.

A portion of California remains in a state of Severe Drought.

The state averaged 8.61 inches of precipitation since Dec. 26, while the San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area averaged 13.34 inches. In fact, from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, California saw the 3rd wettest one-day period since 2005, by grid total precipitation, according to the National Weather Service’s Prediction Center.

The extreme influx of this rain was contained to west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, therefore doing little to refill the water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two largest reservoirs in the nation.

It’s important to note that while this latest rain did indeed improve drought conditions these last 16 days, it did not get rid of it completely.

—Aarohi Sheth

What you can do, currently.