Thirsty California soaked up much-needed rain Thursday from a Pacific storm front, and more rain was on the way. But the moisture had little effect on the state's drought and increasingly strict water rationing.
"I love it, I love it, I love it," said Patty Schnaars as she stood on a San Francisco street corner, enjoying a drenching. "I just want to get wet. That's why I don't even use an umbrella."Water officials said it was too little, too late to head off mandatory water rationing cutbacks.
The rain "won't amount to a hill of beans when it comes to the water supply of the future," said Bob Muir, spokesman for the Metropolitan Water District, which provides water to 27 utilities in Southern California.
"If we were to get 200 percent of our normal rainfall during the rest of the wet season - the next 40 or 50 days - we would only get up to about 50 percent (of normal)," said Doug Priest, director of the state Drought Center in Sacramento.
The storm came ashore Wednesday, dumping a record 2.17 inches of rain in downtown Los Angeles. The previous record for the date was 1.47 inches in 1938, the National Weather Service said. Elsewhere, however, San Francisco and San Rafael received just 0.43 inch in 24 hours.
A second storm was waiting just off the coast and was expected to keep rain falling through Friday, said Mark Rochin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.