Don't be distracted by your own frozen hands: in spite of this recent and sudden chill, 2014 was HOT. In fact, it was California's warmest year in 120 years, says KPCC, and though that's only counting the first 11 months of the year (December's data isn't out yet), experts say that this month would have to be "the coldest on record and by quite a large margin" to pull the state out of record-making territory. December's been warmer than usual, so that's probably not going to happen, but it has been cold enough to break a 375-day streak of temperatures above 60 degrees, according to a public information statement on Weather Underground.
Yesterday, Downtown dropped to a chilly 56 degrees, breaking a warm period that's lasted more than a year. It's the second-longest super-60 stretch in Downtown's history; from late February 1993 to November 1994, the 'hood stayed above 60 for 629 days.
Meanwhile, 2014 was only California's twenty-third driest year on record, based on data for January through November, so even though we had a bevy of shocking visuals documenting the state drying up before our eyes, it could have been worse. (Yay?) Here in LA, we've been getting some nice, long showers; when the numbers are tallied, we're still only at about normal rainfall levels.
That's fine and good, but not too helpful when California's dealing with a years-long drought. If anything, the record-setting heat exacerbated the dryness, a climatologist with JPL tells KPCC. "The drought by itself is painful enough, but when it's coupled with an exceptionally hot year like we had this year, the evaporation – what we call the evapotranspiration – is accelerated. It makes the drought even worse."
· 2014 was California's hottest in 120 years [SCPR]
· This is California's Worst Drought Since 800 AD [Curbed LA]