For California, Months Of Wet Weather To Come

The latest three-month forecast for California contains both good news and bad. While the weather is expected to be wetter than usual, it will also be warmer. Here’s what this means in terms of the duration and severity of California’s drought.

SAN FRANCISCO – If you’re wondering if the recent spurt of wet weather (at least in Northern California and the Sierras) is set to continue, the answer is: most likely. But if you’re wondering if this means California’s drought will continue, the answer is also: most likely (at least in areas other than the northwest).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center released its forecast for the next three months and there looks to be more wet weather on tap for California. The state has a 33 percent chance of above-average precipitation through April, with the numbers climbing as high as 50 percent above normal in Southern California.

However, temperatures are predicted to be higher than average as well – as high as 50 percent above average for Northern California and 33 to 40 percent up for Southern California. This could translate into more rain, but less snow to pad the state’s critical snowpack and fill reservoirs later in the year.

El Niño conditions are definitely in full effect right now and are predicted to last through the spring; NOAA estimates that we are then likely to see El Niño conditions dissipating around May–June–July.

Three more months of wet weather is good news for drought-parched California, but likely won’t be enough to undo the damage of four stingy rain years. Even as more rain and snow arrives, drought conditions are predicted to persist throughout most of California, but things will improve and drought conditions could end entirely for the northwest part of —> Read More