How much rain has Southern California received? A lot.

152886 full
152886 full

Today is March 31st, which means we're halfway through what's known as the water year. That means it's the end of the period from October through March when Southern California receives nearly all of its precipitation.

So, just how much rain have we gotten? A lot. In just six months, we've seen 120 percent of what we normally get in a typical full year.

That's according to data from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which shows this year's precipitation outpacing normal totals. By this point in the median year, Southern California has received 86 percent of what it will eventually get in the year. 

But David Pierce of Scripps says that the region isn't at historic highs. 

"The precipitation since the start of winter has been above average, but within the normal range of variability," Pierce said. "So above [average], definitely, which is good. But not exceptionally high."

Pierce crunches data from 20 rain gauges across the Los Angeles Basin, and compares it to historical data from those same gauges to bring context to the region's precipitation.

The season's total was enough to make this the sixteenth wettest stretch since World War II. That's down from January, when the region was on track for the fifth-wettest winter.

While the first two months of 2017 saw a deluge, the downpours eased considerably in March.

Southern California has had an above-average few months, but it's been a near-record year in the Sierra Nevada, where snowpack is so robust it has set off concerns about flooding. Still, the snow has brightened the water supply picture across the state.

"The Los Angeles area and most of Southern California imports a lot of its water. So the fact that Northern California has had that exceptionally wet year is helpful for even Southern California," Pierce told KPCC.

The rain has also helped tame the five-drought across the state. Much of California has officially emerged from drought, though areas in Orange, Ventura and Imperial counties remain in moderate drought, according to the United State Drought Monitor.

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