Pasadena, CA

Rain to soak Los Angeles and Pasadena during the holidays

Don Simkovich
Water is filling up the reservoir south of Pasadena's Eaton CanyonDon Simkovich

A good soaking is coming to Los Angeles and Pasadena that’ll throw a wet blanket on drought conditions while raising another big question: will it rain during the Rose Parade on Jan. 1?

Rain is as much an event in Southern California as are Christmas, New Year’s and the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game.

The 10-day weather forecast from Dec. 22 to Dec 31. shows rain covering Los Angeles and Pasadena even though the amounts of precipitation vary widely. It’s about 10 miles from LA’s city hall to Pasadena’s historic city hall, but weather patterns are quite different due to elevation along the foothills and the flow of offshore air.
Rain totals can vary widely within the city boundaries of Los
No need to use sprinklers for the next 10 days in Pasadena and Los

The heaviest rain is currently forecast for Thursday the 23rd with 1.99 inches predicted for LA (in the northwestern portion of the city) and just over 2.17 inches projected to fall in Pasadena.

Rain is forecast for New Year’s Eve in both cities.

But the big question is, “Will it rain during the Rose Parade?”

“No one knows for certain,” says Kay Sappington, overseeing float building and decorating for the Sierra Madre Rose Float association. “Conditions can change quickly.”

The float is being built in the association’s float parade barn just off of Sierra Madre Boulevard. It’ll pull out around 6:30 pm on Dec. 31 and make its way to the line-up on Orange Grove Boulevard. The float’s theme is Nature’s Classroom with a colorful Toucan bird as an attraction.

“We have plastic sheets to cover the float if it rains before, but during the parade then the bright yellow colors on the bird could turn to brown if it gets wet,” says Sappington.

Drought Update

The water year that ended Sept. 30 was the second driest on record. All of California’s 58 counties are now under a drought emergency proclamation, according to updates on

Residents in Los Angeles and throughout the state are urged to turn off outdoor sprinklers when rain hits. On average, estimates that Californians use from 30 percent to 60 percent of their water on outdoor irrigation.

Water is flowing in Pasadena’s Eaton Canyon and boosting levels in the reservoir along New York Drive, but overall water levels in Los Angeles County are considered low.

Will it rain on the Rose Parade?

It’s only rained 10 times since the parade started in 1890. The most recent rain was a deluge with gusts of wind when the parade was held on Jan. 2, 2006. History is on the side of a dry event.

Unless conditions change.

Even then, the parade—and life in Southern California--will go on.

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I interview entrepreneurs, and dig into the news around Southern California, giving a voice to business owners, artists and more. I also co-write the thriller novel series Tom Stone Detective Stories.

Pasadena, CA

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