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Rain is falling in Southern California, but will it rain on Pasadena’s Rose Parade?

With showers falling in Southern California this weekend, the question for Rose Parade watchers and organizers alike is, will it rain on their parade on Monday, Jan. 2?

The answer is mixed. On one hand, the clouds will likely part for the 134th parade in Pasadena, but on the other hand (more like in the other hand), have an umbrella, and a Plan B at the ready if you’re thinking of an outdoor sojourn later in the day.

Read more Rose Parade coverage here.

Even as a storm brings with it a high-wind warning and flash flood watch for some areas in the region, it still appears that the parade itself, which starts at 8 a.m. and runs to 10 a.m.  Monday in Pasadena, will escape showers.

That’s right, if you’re anywhere near 34.14°N 118.15°W (Elev. 797 ft) — that’s Pasadena! —  on parade day, you’ll experience a 30% chance of rain after 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. It’ll be partly sunny, with a high near 56. But toward the evening, rain is likely, mainly after 10 p.m.

Similar conditions are expected the rest of the week, with glimpses of the sun here and there, with rain  expected to pay us some visits in the evenings.

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Fans at the Rose Bowl game, however, should bring foul weather gear. Kickoff is 2 p.m. at the fabled 100-year-old stadium.

If you’re wondering, rain — or as Tournament of Roses aficionados call it, The “R” Word — on the Rose Parade has traditionally been rare.

The Rose Parade itself — from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. — has never been canceled because of rain, but raindrops on the parade are a relatively rare occurrence.

In fact, it has reportedly happened only 10 times in parade history, according to archivists. If you’re keeping score, that’s 1895, 1899, 1906, 1910, 1916, 1922, 1934, 1937, 1955 and 2006.

While rain is rare, all this, of course, is not to say rain hasn’t disrupted events connected to the parade.

On Dec. 29, 2021, hundreds of the country’s best marching band musicians slogged through a storm amid the annual Bandfest — a popular pre-parade event in Pasadena. Some bands did not perform but most simply donned ponchos and other foul-weather gear.

Hebron High School Marching Band from Carrollton, Texas performs during the Tournament of Roses  Bandfest in Robinson Stadium at Pasadena City College in Pasadena on Thursday December 30, 2021. (Photo by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer)

And that appears to be in the works this weekend, too, as events like Bandfest will be impacted by the rain happening Saturday. Moreover, on Sunday, many floats are being transported from places such as Irwindale, where they are built and decorated. That said, while it will be chilly, it appears the New Year’s Day trek for the floats to Pasadena will happen under clear skies.

The brunt of the weekend wetness will be Saturday,  “with several hours of light to moderate warm frontal rain, followed by three to six hours of moderate to very heavy rain, with the primary frontal band Saturday afternoon and evening,” according to the National Weather Service.

The brunt of the storm could potentially move out of Los Angeles County by midnight, “if not sooner,” forecasters said, but “a few hours of lingering showers” were still expected as 2023 arrives.

Most of the precipitation should end by sunrise Sunday, except for some potential showers on north-facing mountain slopes, according to the NWS.

During the brunt of the storm, rain could fall at rates close to one inch per hour, raising the potential for mud and debris flows in burn scars.

For instance, the city of Duarte announced that it will move approximately 25 homes in the Fish Fire burn area into a “yellow alert” level at noon Saturday, continuing until 10 a.m. Sunday.

The alert primarily requires residents to follow rain-related parking restrictions to ensure streets are clear in the area for emergency vehicles, but it also serves as a reminder to prepare for possible evacuations if needed.

But for Monday — parade day — the parade will go on, rain or shine. Even though for now, it appears, at least in the morning, it will be “shine.”

Related links

10 last-minute things to know before the 134th Rose Parade in Pasadena
Rose Parade survival guide: What you need to know before you go
Why the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl are on Jan. 2 in 2023
Rose Parade 2023: The history of how the Tournament of Roses got its start

City News Service contributed to this story.

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