El Nino has so far left much of drought-stricken California in the dust, delivering a few quick storms but not yet bringing the legendary rain previously linked to the periodic ocean-warming phenomenon.

Winter, especially in the southern half of the state, has been dry with summerlike heat suitable for a day at the beach or patio dining.

The National Weather Service says last month was the warmest February in San Diego since record-keeping began in 1875, In Los Angeles it was the second-warmest on the books.

Rain and snowfall in the weeks ahead would have to be extensive to make up lost ground in the state — even with the current forecast of a series of early March storms heading directly toward California.

Los Angeles recorded less than an inch of rain in February and has received less than 5 inches since Oct. 1, nearly 6 inches less than normal to date.