Recent Rain Totals in California


Jeff Chui

Recent, heavy rainfalls within California have wreaked much havoc on highways and roads, causing traffic and wrecks throughout the state. Many begin to wonder what these rain totals will cause, and if California is meant to withstand this heavy rain.

“Rain, rain go away?”

This is what many San Diego citizens may be thinking following the torrential rainfalls of these past few weeks. For a city like San Diego that has experienced varying degrees of droughts over the years, this rain came as a shock, even to citizens who have been residing within this area for a long period of time.

So far, more rain has fallen in these first three months of 2023 than the entirety of 2022. Rain totals only in January, February and March amounted to more than the rain totals of January through December of 2022. Much of this rain is largely due to the severe storms that have hit the West Coast throughout the beginning of this year. Due to the geographical location of San Diego, it is plausible that this area would receive high rainfall, as it is located close to the coast.

There are many benefits to this rain. Although California is still considered to be within a drought, it surely doesn’t seem as much of a risk with all of this rain added up. Plants are able to flourish in this weather, and ordinarily dusty, plain trails look twenty times more beautiful with the bountiful, growing wildlife.

“I’ve gotten a great amount of use out of my new rain barrels,” Brett Bloom, a San Diego native, states. “The water that can be collected and stored within these barrels is perfect for watering plants and other outdoor work.” New installations such as these rain barrels and also rain gutters may be things California citizens have not considered in the past, yet have become very relevant amidst the presence of all this rain.

Yet this rain has caused, and will continue to cause more issues not just within San Diego, yet within the entire state of California. Potholes and sinkholes have begun to form all over the roads, which causes an increase in construction. This heavy construction in many areas could lead to traffic delay, and unhappy citizens.

The amount of uncovered potholes, especially, on the road has been concerning. As a driver, I am aware of these dangers yet often fail to see every one on my commute to school in the morning.

Since the rainwater remains on the asphalt, the drop in temperatures at night causes this water to freeze. Dirt and debris collect around the area and once cars begin to drive over it, the water melts and gaps form under the asphalt. The more cars that continue to drive over it, the bigger the pothole gets.

Obviously, there is no clear solution to these dangers as San Diego citizens are not in control of the rain. Yet something that can be accomplished is sealing these potholes very well, so they may not open again.

Furthermore, there are both benefits and drawbacks to the rain that has hit San Diego in the recent months. As there is surely more to come, make sure to be prepared, and take the necessary precautions that come with handling rain!