Environment & Science

Downtown LA had 2nd hottest February on record

In this file photo, Joe Carrillo tries his catch and release fly fishing at the Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Last month was the second warmest February on record and drier than anticipated, spoiling hopes of drought-busting rain predicted due to the El Niño weather pattern.
In this file photo, Joe Carrillo tries his catch and release fly fishing at the Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Last month was the second warmest February on record and drier than anticipated, spoiling hopes of drought-busting rain predicted due to the El Niño weather pattern.
Damian Dovarganes/AP

Downtown Los Angeles just had its second hottest February on record, falling just four tenths of a degree short of the previous record set in 1995, according to the National Weather Service.

The average temperature last month was 64.9 degrees. The average for February 1995 was 65.3 degrees.

"This is definitely a little surprise given that we have a record-breaking El Niño currently ongoing in the central Pacific. We were anticipating that February would probably be our best chance of getting some meaningful rainfall," said Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist with the weather service.

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show February 2016 was the second hottest on record after February 1995.
Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show February 2016 was the second hottest on record after February 1995.
NOAA

Forecasts of heavy rainfall brought on by the El Niño weather pattern have gone mostly unrealized, with Southern California seeing unusually dry, warm weather instead.

In fact, this February saw an all-time record for maximum temperature — that's the average of daytime highs over the course of the month. 

The new record for average maximum temperature is 77.5 degrees. The previous record was 75.6, set in February 1954.

A change in the weather later this week could bring some much needed rain across the state. 

Munroe told KPCC a system coming into southwestern California could bring rain to the Central Coast by Friday evening or Saturday morning. The bulk of precipitation is expected late Saturday into Sunday, with early estimates of half an inch to an inch, Munroe said.

The storm this weekend could also be the first in a series, with long-range models showing several possible heading into next week.

Downtown L.A. has tallied about 5 inches of rain since October. In a normal year, that amount would be more than double.