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Los Angeles

County seat of Los Angeles County, California; second largest city in the United States by population

Top 10 Los Angeles related articles

Los Angeles, California
City of Los Angeles
Nickname(s): 
L.A., City of Angels,[1] The Entertainment Capital of the World,[1] La-la-land, Tinseltown[1]
Location within Los Angeles County
Los Angeles
Location within California
Los Angeles
Location within the United States
Los Angeles
Location within North America
Coordinates: 34°03′N 118°15′W / 34.050°N 118.250°W / 34.050; -118.250Coordinates: 34°03′N 118°15′W / 34.050°N 118.250°W / 34.050; -118.250
Country  United States
State  California
County Los Angeles
RegionSouthern California
CSALos Angeles-Long Beach
MSALos Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim
PuebloSeptember 4, 1781[2]
City statusMay 23, 1835[3]
IncorporatedApril 4, 1850[4]
Named forOur Lady, Queen of the Angels
Government
 • TypeMayor-Council-Commission[5]
 • BodyLos Angeles City Council
 • MayorEric Garcetti (D)[6]
 • City AttorneyMike Feuer (D)[6]
 • City ControllerRon Galperin (D)[6]
Area
 • Total502.73 sq mi (1,302.06 km2)
 • Land468.97 sq mi (1,214.63 km2)
 • Water33.76 sq mi (87.43 km2)
 • Urban
1,736.02 sq mi (4,496.3 km2)
 • Metro
4,850 sq mi (12,562 km2)
Elevation305 ft (93 m)
Highest elevation5,074 ft (1,547 m)
Lowest elevation0 ft (0 m)
Population
 • Total3,792,621
 • Estimate 
(2019)[11]
3,979,576
 • Rank1st, California
2nd, U.S.
 • Density8,485.74/sq mi (3,276.37/km2)
 • Urban12,150,996
 • Metro13,131,431 (U.S.: 2nd)
 • CSA18,679,763 (U.S.: 2nd)
Demonym(s)Los Angeleno, Angeleno
Time zoneUTC−08:00 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−07:00 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes213/323, 310/424, 747/818
FIPS code06-44000
GNIS feature IDs1662328, 2410877
Websitewww.lacity.org

Los Angeles (/lɔːs ˈænələs/ ( listen);[a] Spanish: Los Ángeles; Spanish for 'The Angels'),[16] officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the largest city in California. With an estimated population of nearly four million people,[17] it is the second-most populous city in the United States (after New York City) and the third-most populous city in North America (after Mexico City and New York City). Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

Los Angeles lies in a basin in Southern California, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, with mountains as high as 10,000 feet (3,000 m), and deserts. The city, which covers about 469 square miles (1,210 km2),[18] is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States. The Los Angeles metropolitan area (MSA) is home to 13.1 million people, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in the nation after New York.[19] Greater Los Angeles includes metro Los Angeles as well as the Inland Empire and Ventura County.[20] It is the second-most populous U.S. combined statistical area, also after New York, with a 2015 estimate of 18.7 million people.[21]

Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542. The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and thus became part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood. The discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city.[22] The city was further expanded with the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, which delivers water from Eastern California.

Los Angeles has a diverse economy and hosts businesses in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. It also has the busiest container port in the Americas.[23] A global city, it has been ranked 7th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index. The Los Angeles metropolitan area also has a gross metropolitan product of $1.0 trillion[24] (as of 2017), making it the third-largest city by GDP in the world, after the Tokyo and New York City metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Los Angeles Intro articles: 39

History

Pre-colonial history

The Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Tongva (Gabrieleños) and Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ (written "Yang-na" by the Spanish), meaning "poison oak place".[25][26]

Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.[27] Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769.[28]

Spanish rule

In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area.[29] On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, 'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'.[30][b] The present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or (New Spain) settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African, indigenous and European ancestry.[31] The settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents.[32] Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles.[33]

Mexican rule

New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, and the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico. During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital.[34]

1847 to present

Advertisement from the Los Angeles Evening Herald of March 22, 1913, stressing the clarity of the view in the Angeles Mesa tract. Downtown Los Angeles is in the distance in the center, Mt. Baldy can be seen on the horizon, and there appears to be a brush fire at the left.

Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847.[35]

Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885.[36] Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, and by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output.[37]

By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000,[38] putting pressure on the city's water supply.[39] The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city.[40] Because of clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent cities and communities felt compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.[41][42][43]

Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones. The new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were prohibited. The proscriptions included barns, lumber yards, and any industrial land use employing machine-powered equipment. These laws were enforced against industrial properties after-the-fact. These prohibitions were in addition to existing activities that were already regulated as nuisances. These included explosives warehousing, gas works, oil-drilling, slaughterhouses, and tanneries. Los Angeles City Council also designated seven industrial zones within the city. However, between 1908 and 1915, Los Angeles City Council created various exceptions to the broad proscriptions that applied to these three residential zones, and as a consequence, some industrial uses emerged within them. There are two differences from the 1908 Residence District Ordinance and later zoning laws in the United States. First, the 1908 laws did not establish a comprehensive zoning map as the 1916 New York City Zoning Ordinance did. Second, the residential zones did not distinguish types of housing; it treated apartments, hotels, and detached-single-family housing equally.[44]

Hill Street, looking north from 6th Street, c. 1913. Notable sites include Central Park (today's Pershing Square) (the trees, lower left), Hotel Portsmouth (lower right), and the Hill Street tunnel (at end of street).

In 1910, Hollywood merged into Los Angeles, with 10 movie companies already operating in the city at the time. By 1921, more than 80 percent of the world's film industry was concentrated in LA.[45] The money generated by the industry kept the city insulated from much of the economic loss suffered by the rest of the country during the Great Depression.[46] By 1930, the population surpassed one million.[47] In 1932, the city hosted the Summer Olympics.

During World War II, Los Angeles was a major center of wartime manufacturing, such as shipbuilding and aircraft. Calship built hundreds of Liberty Ships and Victory Ships on Terminal Island, and the Los Angeles area was the headquarters of six of the country's major aircraft manufacturers (Douglas Aircraft Company, Hughes Aircraft, Lockheed, North American Aviation, Northrop Corporation, and Vultee). During the war, more aircraft were produced in one year than in all the pre-war years since the Wright brothers flew the first airplane in 1903, combined. Manufacturing in Los Angeles skyrocketed, and as William S. Knudsen, of the National Defense Advisory Commission put it, "We won because we smothered the enemy in an avalanche of production, the like of which he had never seen, nor dreamed possible."[48]

George Patton during a welcome home parade in Los Angeles, June 9, 1945

Following the end of World War II, Los Angeles grew more rapidly than ever, sprawling into the San Fernando Valley.[49] The expansion of the Interstate Highway System during the 1950s and 1960s helped propel suburban growth and signaled the demise of the city's electrified rail system, once the world's largest.

Previous to the 1950s, Los Angeles' name had multiple pronunciations, but the soft "G" pronunciation is universal today. Some early movies or video shows it pronounced with a hard "G" (/lɔːs ˈænɡələs/).[50] Sam Yorty was one of the last public figures who still used the hard "G" pronunciation.[51]

The 1960s saw race relations boil over into the Watts riots of 1965, which resulted in 34 deaths and over 1,000 injuries. In 1969, Los Angeles became the birthplace of the Internet, as the first ARPANET transmission was sent from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to SRI in Menlo Park.[52]

In 1973, Tom Bradley was elected as the city's first African American mayor, serving for five terms until retiring in 1993. Other events in the city during the 1970s included the Symbionese Liberation Army's South Central standoff in 1974, the Hillside Stranglers murder cases in 1977–1978, Daryl Gates becoming Los Angeles Police Department's 49th-and as outspoken as his predecessor Edward Davis-police chief in 1978 and also in 1978 the 50th Academy Awards ceremony at the city's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Jimmy Carter's first ever presidential visit and in 1979, the decade ending with the 50th anniversary of the Academy Awards (51st ever ceremony, also at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion), President Carter's second visit to the city and the City Council's and Bradley's respective passing and signing of the city's first homosexual rights bill.

In 1984, the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games for the second time. Despite being boycotted by 14 Communist countries, the 1984 Olympics became more financially successful than any previous,[53] and the second Olympics to turn a profit until then–the other, according to an analysis of contemporary newspaper reports, being the 1932 Summer Olympics, also held in Los Angeles.[54]

Racial tensions erupted on April 29, 1992, with the acquittal by a Simi Valley jury of four Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers captured on videotape beating Rodney King, culminating in large-scale riots.[55][56]

In 1994, the 6.7 Northridge earthquake shook the city, causing $12.5 billion in damage and 72 deaths.[57] The century ended with the Rampart scandal, one of the most extensive documented cases of police misconduct in American history.[58]

In 2002, Mayor James Hahn led the campaign against secession, resulting in voters defeating efforts by the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood to secede from the city.[59]

Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games, making Los Angeles the third city to host the Olympics three times.[60][61]

Los Angeles History articles: 85

Geography

Topography

Night photograph of South Bay (Los Angeles County), 2017, with the Pacific Ocean to the left (dark region), Palos Verdes next to the right (few lights), San Pedro in the center foreground, and Terminal Island in the right foreground (bright region)

The city of Los Angeles covers a total area of 502.7 square miles (1,302 km2), comprising 468.7 square miles (1,214 km2) of land and 34.0 square miles (88 km2) of water.[18] The city extends for 44 miles (71 km) north-south and for 29 miles (47 km) east-west. The perimeter of the city is 342 miles (550 km).

Los Angeles is both flat and hilly. The highest point in the city proper is Mount Lukens at 5,074 ft (1,547 m),[62][63] located at the northeastern end of the San Fernando Valley. The eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains stretches from Downtown to the Pacific Ocean and separates the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley. Other hilly parts of Los Angeles include the Mt. Washington area north of Downtown, eastern parts such as Boyle Heights, the Crenshaw district around the Baldwin Hills, and the San Pedro district.

Surrounding the city are much higher mountains. Immediately to the north lie the San Gabriel Mountains, which is a popular recreation area for Angelenos. Its high point is Mount San Antonio, locally known as Mount Baldy, which reaches 10,064 feet (3,068 m). Further afield, the highest point in the Greater Los Angeles area is San Gorgonio Mountain, with a height of 11,503 feet (3,506 m).

The Los Angeles River, which is largely seasonal, is the primary drainage channel. It was straightened and lined in 51 miles (82 km) of concrete by the Army Corps of Engineers to act as a flood control channel.[64] The river begins in the Canoga Park district of the city, flows east from the San Fernando Valley along the north edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, and turns south through the city center, flowing to its mouth in the Port of Long Beach at the Pacific Ocean. The smaller Ballona Creek flows into the Santa Monica Bay at Playa del Rey.

Vegetation

Oldest palm tree in Los Angeles, 2019

Los Angeles is rich in native plant species partly because of its diversity of habitats, including beaches, wetlands, and mountains. The most prevalent plant communities are coastal sage scrub, chaparral shrubland, and riparian woodland.[65] Native plants include: the California poppy, matilija poppy, toyon, Ceanothus, Chamise, Coast Live Oak, sycamore, willow and Giant Wildrye. Many of these native species, such as the Los Angeles sunflower, have become so rare as to be considered endangered. Although it is not native to the area, the official tree of Los Angeles is the Coral Tree (Erythrina caffra)[66] and the official flower of Los Angeles is the Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae).[67] Mexican Fan Palms, Canary Island Palms, Queen Palms, Date Palms, and California Fan Palms are common in the Los Angeles area, although only the last is native.

Geology

Los Angeles is subject to earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The geologic instability has produced numerous faults, which cause approximately 10,000 earthquakes annually in Southern California, though most of them are too small to be felt.[68] The strike-slip San Andreas Fault system is at the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, and is vulnerable to the "big one", a potentially large and damaging event after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.[69] The Los Angeles basin and metropolitan area are also at risk from blind thrust earthquakes.[70] Major earthquakes that have hit the Los Angeles area include the 1933 Long Beach, 1971 San Fernando, 1987 Whittier Narrows, and the 1994 Northridge events. All but a few are of low intensity and are not felt. The USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast, which models earthquake occurrence in California. Parts of the city are also vulnerable to tsunamis; harbor areas were damaged by waves from Aleutian Islands earthquake in 1946, Valdivia earthquake in 1960, Alaska earthquake in 1964, Chile earthquake in 2010 and Japan earthquake in 2011.[71]

Cityscape

Panorama of the urban sprawl of Los Angeles in 2013 as viewed from Griffith Observatory.
Left to right: Los Feliz, Echo Park, Downtown, and Hollywood.

The city is divided into many different districts and neighborhoods,[72][73] some of which were incorporated cities that merged with Los Angeles.[74] These neighborhoods were developed piecemeal, and are well-defined enough that the city has signage marking nearly all of them.[75]

Overview

The city's street patterns generally follow a grid plan, with uniform block lengths and occasional roads that cut across blocks. However, this is complicated by rugged terrain, which has necessitated having different grids for each of the valleys that Los Angeles covers. Major streets are designed to move large volumes of traffic through many parts of the city, many of which are extremely long; Sepulveda Boulevard is 43 miles (69 km) long, while Foothill Boulevard is over 60 miles (97 km) long, reaching as far east as San Bernardino. Drivers in Los Angeles suffer from one of the worst rush hour periods in the world, according to an annual traffic index by navigation system maker, TomTom. LA drivers spend an additional 92 hours in traffic each year. During the peak rush hour there is 80% congestion, according to the index.[76]

Los Angeles is often characterized by the presence of low-rise buildings. Outside of a few centers such as Downtown, Warner Center, Century City, Koreatown, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, and Westwood, skyscrapers and high-rise buildings are not common. The few skyscrapers built outside of those areas often stand out above the rest of the surrounding landscape. Most construction is done in separate units, rather than wall-to-wall. That being said, Downtown Los Angeles itself has many buildings over 30 stories, with fourteen over 50 stories, and two over 70 stories, the tallest of which is the Wilshire Grand Center. Also, Los Angeles is increasingly becoming a city of apartments rather than single family dwellings, especially in the dense inner city and Westside neighborhoods.

Landmarks

Important landmarks in Los Angeles include the Hollywood Sign, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Capitol Records Building, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Angels Flight, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Dolby Theatre, Griffith Observatory, Getty Center, Getty Villa, Stahl House, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, L.A. Live, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Venice Canal Historic District and boardwalk, Theme Building, Bradbury Building, U.S. Bank Tower, Wilshire Grand Center, Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles City Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Battleship USS Iowa, Watts Towers, Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, and Olvera Street.

Climate

MacArthur Park in Westlake
Los Angeles (Downtown)
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
3.2
 
 
69
50
 
 
3.8
 
 
69
51
 
 
2.4
 
 
71
53
 
 
0.9
 
 
73
56
 
 
0.3
 
 
75
59
 
 
0.1
 
 
79
62
 
 
0
 
 
84
65
 
 
0.1
 
 
85
66
 
 
0.3
 
 
84
65
 
 
0.7
 
 
79
60
 
 
1.1
 
 
73
54
 
 
2.4
 
 
68
49
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: [77]

Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb on the coast and most of downtown, Csa near the metropolitan region to the west), and receives just enough annual precipitation to avoid semi-arid climate (BSh),[78] making the myth that the city has been built in a desert not be completely incorrect. Daytime temperatures are generally temperate all year round. In winter, they average around 68 °F (20 °C) giving it a tropical feel although it is a few degrees too cool to be a true tropical climate on average due to cool night temperatures.[79][80] Los Angeles has plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.[81]

Temperatures in the coastal basin exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on a dozen or so days in the year, from one day a month in April, May, June and November to three days a month in July, August, October and to five days in September.[81] Temperatures in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys are considerably warmer. Temperatures are subject to substantial daily swings; in inland areas the difference between the average daily low and the average daily high is over 30 °F (17 °C).[82] The average annual temperature of the sea is 63 °F (17 °C), from 58 °F (14 °C) in January to 68 °F (20 °C) in August.[83] Hours of sunshine total more than 3,000 per year, from an average of 7 hours of sunshine per day in December to an average of 12 in July.[84]

A very clear evening view of Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign from the Griffith Observatory lawn, one day after a rain

The Los Angeles area is also subject to phenomena typical of a microclimate, causing extreme variations in temperature in close physical proximity to each other. For example, the average July maximum temperature at the Santa Monica Pier is 70 °F (21 °C) whereas it is 95 °F (35 °C) in Canoga Park, 15 miles (24 km) away.[85] The city, like much of the southern California coast, is subject to a late spring/early summer weather phenomenon called "June Gloom". This involves overcast or foggy skies in the morning that yield to sun by early afternoon.[86]

Downtown Los Angeles averages 14.93 in (379 mm) of precipitation annually, mainly occurring between November and March,[82] generally in the form of moderate rain showers, but sometimes as heavy rainfall during winter storms. Rainfall is usually higher in the hills and coastal slopes of the mountains because of orographic uplift. Summer days are usually rainless. Rarely, an incursion of moist air from the south or east can bring brief thunderstorms in late summer, especially to the mountains. The coast gets slightly less rainfall, while the inland and mountain areas get considerably more. Years of average rainfall are rare. The usual pattern is year to year variability, with a short string of dry years of 5–10 in (130–250 mm) rainfall, followed by one or two wet years with more than 20 in (510 mm).[82] Wet years are usually associated with warm water El Niño conditions in the Pacific, dry years with cooler water La Niña episodes. A series of rainy days can bring floods to the lowlands and mudslides to the hills, especially after wildfires have denuded the slopes.

Both freezing temperatures and snowfall are extremely rare in the city basin and along the coast, with the last occurrence of a 32 °F (0 °C) reading at the downtown station being January 29, 1979;[82] freezing temperatures occur nearly every year in valley locations while the mountains within city limits typically receive snowfall every winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in downtown Los Angeles was 2.0 inches (5 cm) on January 15, 1932.[82][87] While the most recent snowfall occurred in February 2019, the first snowfall since 1962.[88][89] At the official downtown station, the highest recorded temperature is 113 °F (45 °C) on September 27, 2010,[82][90] while the lowest is 28 °F (−2 °C),[82] on January 4, 1949.[82] During autumn and winter, Santa Ana winds sometimes bring much warmer and drier conditions to Los Angeles, and raise wildfire risk.

Climate data for Los Angeles (USC, Downtown), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1877–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 95
(35)
95
(35)
99
(37)
106
(41)
103
(39)
112
(44)
109
(43)
106
(41)
113
(45)
108
(42)
100
(38)
92
(33)
113
(45)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 83.3
(28.5)
84.3
(29.1)
85.8
(29.9)
91.2
(32.9)
89.7
(32.1)
90.2
(32.3)
94.1
(34.5)
95.3
(35.2)
98.9
(37.2)
95.5
(35.3)
88.0
(31.1)
81.4
(27.4)
102.7
(39.3)
Average high °F (°C) 68.2
(20.1)
68.6
(20.3)
70.2
(21.2)
72.7
(22.6)
74.5
(23.6)
78.1
(25.6)
83.1
(28.4)
84.4
(29.1)
83.1
(28.4)
78.5
(25.8)
72.8
(22.7)
67.7
(19.8)
75.2
(24.0)
Daily mean °F (°C) 58.0
(14.4)
58.9
(14.9)
60.6
(15.9)
63.1
(17.3)
65.8
(18.8)
69.2
(20.7)
73.3
(22.9)
74.3
(23.5)
73.1
(22.8)
68.6
(20.3)
62.4
(16.9)
57.6
(14.2)
65.4
(18.6)
Average low °F (°C) 47.8
(8.8)
49.3
(9.6)
51.0
(10.6)
53.5
(11.9)
57.1
(13.9)
60.3
(15.7)
63.6
(17.6)
64.1
(17.8)
63.1
(17.3)
58.7
(14.8)
52.0
(11.1)
47.5
(8.6)
55.7
(13.2)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 41.3
(5.2)
42.9
(6.1)
44.9
(7.2)
48.4
(9.1)
53.6
(12.0)
57.2
(14.0)
61.2
(16.2)
61.8
(16.6)
59.2
(15.1)
54.1
(12.3)
45.0
(7.2)
40.8
(4.9)
39.1
(3.9)
Record low °F (°C) 28
(−2)
28
(−2)
31
(−1)
36
(2)
40
(4)
46
(8)
49
(9)
49
(9)
44
(7)
40
(4)
34
(1)
30
(−1)
28
(−2)
Average rainfall inches (mm) 3.12
(79)
3.80
(97)
2.43
(62)
0.91
(23)
0.26
(6.6)
0.09
(2.3)
0.01
(0.25)
0.04
(1.0)
0.24
(6.1)
0.66
(17)
1.04
(26)
2.33
(59)
14.93
(379.25)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 6.1 6.4 5.5 3.2 1.3 0.6 0.3 0.3 1.0 2.5 3.3 5.2 35.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 225.3 222.5 267.0 303.5 276.2 275.8 364.1 349.5 278.5 255.1 217.3 219.4 3,254.2
Percent possible sunshine 71 72 72 78 64 64 83 84 75 73 70 71 73
Source: NOAA (sun 1961–1977)[91][92][93]
Hottest and coldest, wettest and driest averages for a month (°F/inch), 1895–2019[96]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Hottest 63.9 64.2 67.5 68.2 71.5 75.9 79.8 79.0 80.3 75.4 66.9 62.2
Coldest 46.7 51.1 52.0 55.2 57.2 62.9 66.2 66.3 63.1 57.8 55.2 49.4
Wettest 14.43 15.23 10.44 7.31 3.83 0.98 0.43 2.54 5.13 5.13 9.96 11.46
Driest 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Environmental issues

The city is often covered in smog, as in this December 2005 image.
External audio
“Fighting Smog in Los Angeles”, Distillations Podcast, 2018 Science History Institute

A Gabrielino settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ (written Yang-na by the Spanish), which has been translated as "poison oak place".[25][26] Yang-na has also been translated as "the valley of smoke".[97][98] Owing to geography, heavy reliance on automobiles, and the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, Los Angeles suffers from air pollution in the form of smog. The Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando Valley are susceptible to atmospheric inversion, which holds in the exhausts from road vehicles, airplanes, locomotives, shipping, manufacturing, and other sources.[99] The percentage of small particle pollution (the kind that penetrates into the lungs) coming from vehicles in the city can get as high as 55 percent.[100]

The smog season lasts from approximately May to October.[101] While other large cities rely on rain to clear smog, Los Angeles gets only 15 inches (380 mm) of rain each year: pollution accumulates over many consecutive days. Issues of air quality in Los Angeles and other major cities led to the passage of early national environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act. When the act was passed, California was unable to create a State Implementation Plan that would enable it to meet the new air quality standards, largely because of the level of pollution in Los Angeles generated by older vehicles.[102] More recently, the state of California has led the nation in working to limit pollution by mandating low-emission vehicles. Smog is expected to continue to drop in the coming years because of aggressive steps to reduce it, which include electric and hybrid cars, improvements in mass transit, and other measures.

The number of Stage 1 smog alerts in Los Angeles has declined from over 100 per year in the 1970s to almost zero in the new millennium.[103] Despite improvement, the 2006 and 2007 annual reports of the American Lung Association ranked the city as the most polluted in the country with short-term particle pollution and year-round particle pollution.[104] In 2008, the city was ranked the second most polluted and again had the highest year-round particulate pollution.[105] The city met its goal of providing 20 percent of the city's power from renewable sources in 2010.[106] The American Lung Association's 2013 survey ranks the metro area as having the nation's worst smog, and fourth in both short-term and year-round pollution amounts.[107]

Los Angeles is also home to the nation's largest urban oil field. There are more than 700 active oil wells within 1,500 feet of homes, churches, schools and hospitals in the city, a situation about which the EPA has voiced serious concerns.[108]

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