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Very Thirsty Southwest Is About to Get a Cool Drink

Record rainfall expected in some parts of drought-stricken California, Nevada, Arizona
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2021 9:15 AM CST

(Newser) – Residents in the Southwest have wished for rain for some time, and they're likely going to see that wish granted. CNN notes that 70% of the region has been suffering from severe drought—Las Vegas, for example, has only had two episodes of rain over the last 273 days. Per ABC News, the heat hasn't helped, either, with daily temperature records smashed across Southern California last week and over the weekend, and recent wind gusts posing fire dangers. But weather models now predict that three or four storms will descend upon Nevada, Arizona, and California by month's end, with some parts of the Golden State due to get more rain over the next several days than they usually get in two years' time.

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The town of Imperial, for instance, typically registers less than 2.5 inches of rain annually, but the incoming weather systems over the next week or so could bring up to 5 inches of precipitation there. Meanwhile, Phoenix residents, who haven't seen rain since Dec. 10, may have to break out their umbrellas for most of the next week. The predicted precipitation will likely come in the form of snow in areas like the higher parts of the Sierra Nevada, which CNN notes would help California's water supply once all of the snow melts. Weather.com reports that parched New Mexico, Utah, and western Colorado may also benefit moisture-wise from the various weather systems heading to the region. (Read more Southern California stories.)

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