As we all hopefully know by now, we are in the midst of a serious drought in Southern California, and actually in the state in general. Normal rainfall in Southern California – as measured by a Los Angeles measurement – is approximately 14.9 inches. Note that the last two years were well below average, at less than 50% of average. Southern California precipitation this year the total to date is only 5.99 inches, which is only 40% of normal. Note that if you look at some other measurement locations in or closer to the mountains the percentage might be somewhat higher, but still we are at less than 50% of average.
Here is a link to the official site for current precipitation totals:
Using the above page you can also find links to annual totals throughout the state, for parts for Nevada and Oregon, and other useful information.
The moral of this story is that as hikers, we want to be cognizant of the health of our mountains, and thus do whatever we can to conserve water. A by product, of course, of this drought is the lack of moisture in the vegetation which greatly increases the risk of fires, and the severity of fires once they start. So let’s do all we can, whether camping, backpacking, or even just hiking, to be exceptionally cautious with any potential fire source.