What's the nearest rain to Los Angeles?
August 9, 2021 1:24 PM   Subscribe

I want to sit in a rainstorm and generally enjoy rainy weather. A thunderstorm would be incredible. I'm based in LA. What's the closest/easiest, and/or most-likely place I could go to experience rainy weather or similar conditions? I'm open to creative suggestions and not too concerned about transportation.
posted by fake to Travel & Transportation (26 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It's a bit of a hike from LA, but head to Tampa, Florida about this time of the year. Daily thunderstorms guaranteed.
posted by jquinby at 1:32 PM on August 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Go towards the mountains in San Bernadino. They get thunderstorms and flashflooding occasionally. Summer is also Phoenix's rainy month and they have monsoon rain, which is pretty cool.

Unfortunately I don't see rain on the calendar for either in the next 10 days.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:32 PM on August 9, 2021

These last few winters have been so dry that I think you’d need to drive north of Cape Mendocino if you want to stay in the state and find regular rainfall. Humboldt and Del Norte counties have been a lot drier but they still get 40-50 inches of rain over the course of the year.
posted by not_the_water at 1:51 PM on August 9, 2021

Response by poster: Clarification: I'm willing to leave the state if needed.
posted by fake at 1:54 PM on August 9, 2021

Arizona. Rain ahead.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:03 PM on August 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

If you're willing to leave California, just look at a climate map. The south east is your best bet, although you shouldn't have to wait long along most of the east coast.

If you're willing to jump on a flight today then look at a weather map, and keep an eye on Arizona in particular, which gets a decent amount of Summer rain for a western state.
posted by caek at 2:05 PM on August 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

The desert around Tucson during monsoon season (which is now) is amazing. Rain doesn’t happen every day like clockwork as it does in south Florida in summer, but the landscape is 10x more beautiful and it’s much closer to you.

If you have the flexibility to keep an eye on the forecast and go when it looks favorable (like maybe this coming weekend?), I recommend Tucson and vicinity. If you need a guarantee of rain within a small window of time and can’t really plan ahead, then Miami and other parts of south Florida are pretty much a lock.
posted by theory at 2:29 PM on August 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

As a native Bay Arean who found Northeastern summer rain (hours of cloudy, hot, humid buildup in the 80s, followed by 5 minutes of intense thunder and lightning and the charcoal grey skies bucketing down and the gutters flooding and a 10-15F temperature drop, and then sunny and back up above 80F) puzzling and disturbing and not at all like the clammy, cool Northern California winter rain (unsaturated pastel grey and drizzly all day, punctuated by hours of slightly heavier rain, but otherwise very much consistent, grey, in the 40s F temperaturewise throughout, with lightning an extreme rarity) I grew up with, are you seeking a particular type of rainy experience, or will any rain do?
posted by Pandora Kouti at 2:30 PM on August 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Lightning Map
posted by effluvia at 2:31 PM on August 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Hawaii gets rain. Not as much this time of year, and they're having dry weather in general, and more on the windward side of any given island. But if you go to Hawaii, you'll likely get rain next week.
posted by vunder at 2:56 PM on August 9, 2021

(East) Orlando is a better bet than almost anywhere in Florida for a regularly scheduled rain. You're pretty much guaranteed rain every afternoon in the summer. The sea breezes concentrate the rain inland. It does usually come with lightning, though.

It really is uncanny.
posted by wierdo at 3:01 PM on August 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

I’m from LA. I only spent a week in Tucson around this time of year, but I found the monsoon to be absolutely captivating. During the day it feels like some socal days but you get caught off guard in the afternoon and the mental clarity that comes after the intensity of the rain is unrivaled, IMO. I really recommend it, especially if you’re coming from LA. I know it sounds weird but it is really hard to beat. I could pound out a novel if I had a summer in Tucson, that’s how I feel…
posted by vocativecase at 3:44 PM on August 9, 2021 [5 favorites]

Out of the box idea...any spas nearby that does rain shower spa experiences? My local Korean spa has a mini waterfall cold water pool.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 3:49 PM on August 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Pandora Kouti, I'm looking for the first thing you describe, if I can get it. It's really sounding like Tucson might be a great option, especially after reading vocativecase's comment.
posted by fake at 5:16 PM on August 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Tiki Room at Disneyland.
posted by nickggully at 6:42 PM on August 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

The thing with the Northeast (Boston specifically) is that it's kinda random just which day. And exactly where. There were some killer intense rains the shut down the interstate a couple weeks ago. But just where I was, nothing.
posted by sammyo at 6:44 PM on August 9, 2021

Can confirm Tampa is getting hammered with all day thunderstorms
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:39 PM on August 9, 2021

Coming in to also suggest Tucson. More and more they've got an urban high pressure bubble that keeps the big monsoon thunderstorms skirting the edges of town, but when you get amidst one it's the best. Ominous clouds that drop blades of rain you can watch cut across the landscape until suddenly it thunders over you and drenches everything for about ten minutes. Then petrichor out the wazoo for an hour, then it's dry again in time for the sunset.
posted by carsonb at 9:09 PM on August 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Boulder Co (or, better, the mountains nearby), summer afternoons. It's brief, but can be impressive.
posted by eotvos at 9:35 PM on August 9, 2021

(also, definitely not nearest, but the south side of Puerto Rico is pretty reliable sometime around now.)
posted by eotvos at 9:49 PM on August 9, 2021

If you are willing to wait until October, Houston and points south east average over 4 inches of rain with hurricane season. And that 4inches can come in one day, and the max for a regular month can be over 16 inches. If you are far enough away from the cost, you don't have to deal with hurricane effects directly, just wind and rain.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:51 AM on August 10, 2021

Nthing Arizona. The most spectacular thunderstoms I’ve ever seen.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 8:00 AM on August 10, 2021

This may be time of year specific and Covid specific since it involves going into Canada, but I have always wanted to spend some time Storm Watching at the Wickaninnish Inn.
posted by willnot at 9:01 AM on August 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

From LA, if you can go to Tampa then you can go to Port Douglas in Australia, home of the Great Barrier Reef and ~100 days of rain per year. At the outdoor restaurants, salt and sugar must be in sealed containers since they would clump too much due to the humidity.
posted by Melismata at 11:14 AM on August 10, 2021

A zoo with a rainforest exhibit? Rainforest cafe? Botanic garden with tropical plants (more likely to be super humid over rain... but still). LACMA Rain Room?
posted by oceano at 7:06 PM on August 10, 2021

Response by poster: Tucson was a great choice. I caught some rain. The desert had the most unreal and beautiful petrichor. Thanks, all.
posted by fake at 2:38 PM on August 15, 2021 [11 favorites]

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