Author: Adam

The Monsoon Rains Are Just 10 Days Long

The Monsoon Rains Are Just 10 Days Long

Rare yellow-legged frogs are returned to drought-hammered San Gabriel Mountains

SAN GABRIEL, Calif. — In the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, a single rain of water falls each year.

When the rains fall, it falls in just a few short days. The rains come up through the mountains, like a river of water. And through the mountains it flows, soaking everything it can reach.

But when the rains are dry, the rains themselves stop. That’s why many people don’t believe it, but this annual event — the annual run-up to the summer monsoon — is just 10 days long.

If you live in the San Gabriel Mountains you may think that this makes sense to you.

But not so long ago, the monsoon rains were as welcome as a glass of cold milk. They came early and stayed late, falling with a soft, steady sound, and flooding the valleys that the rains would enter. Rivers would swell for a few days, only to fall silent again. For the people who lived in the San Gabriel Valley, in the foothills of the mountains, the monsoon rains were a chance to escape the smothering heat of the valley floor on a cool, sunny day. Some of them even used their time for recreation. And for those who didn’t have time to sit out in the sunshine, they would come home soaked in sweat.

All this changed in the 1990s, when the monsoon began to arrive in California the later it happened, and the earlier it arrived. The first rains would come in March or April. They would begin to fall on the hot, sunny valley floor, and then as the rain fell, it would flood the valley, then stop and go dormant.

One such rainy season, it was hot and sunny in the San Gabriel Valley, but the water just didn’t fall. That’s when some people began to wonder if the rains might

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