Emerging El Niño weather event is California’s biggest since 1997

This bears on my last posting. It’s a sign of hope for California, but only in a short term way. Eventually, we must stop using more water than rain and snow replace.

NEWS FROM NATURE

As Pacific Ocean temperatures continue to warm and trade winds shift, federal scientists now say that the El Niño weather event that’s emerging could be one of the strongest on record. And that could mean significantly increased chances that storms will drench drought-ravaged California this winter, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week. Agency scientists say the conditions are lining up in a way not seen since the winter of 1997-98, when downpours filled reservoirs and sent rivers raging during the last major El Niño.

“That’s good news for California,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s climate prediction center in College Park, Md. “There are obviously no guarantees, but above-normal rainfall is becoming more likely.”

The chances are now “greater than 90 percent” that El Niño conditions that began in March will remain through this winter, according to NOAA’s monthly report on…

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