California Drought Report #26

The European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMRWF) is predicting a super El Niño, higher than ever recorded. However, Joe Bastardi in his WeatherBELL Weekly Summary, does not think that it will be an out of the ordinary El Niño, about the same as past El Niño events.

Joe did have some good news for California this winter. The NOAA models are forecasting above normal precipitation in Nov, Dec and Jan for the 2015/2016 winter months.


No, this will not fix our drought, because it is only a temporary condition. The El Niño will fade and the cool PDO will again control our weather. Cool PDOs have historically brought drought conditions to the Southwest, including California. However, the winter rain and some mountain snow will help fill our reservoirs, enabling us to muddle along for several more years, hoping that we have more El Niño events in the future.  Water conservation for the next 20 years is going to be critical to our economic survival.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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2 Responses to California Drought Report #26

  1. Fuzz says:

    Russ, do the NOAA models shed any light on how much of the possible precip from Nov-Jan might come as snow? If we’re trending warmer, with ever higher % of precip as just rain, then capturing the runoff from short intense storms is critical. Even eastern Washington state is having a dearth of snow and the farmers are worried. We will need to use technology to the max. We’re bucketing our shower water out to a 55 gal. drum on the back deck and using that to water non-edible plants. Once I get a handle on non-toxic soap and shampoo, we’ll use it to water the edibles too. Where I moved from (San Luis Obispo county) is really suffering and they’re working on an agreement with PG&E for emergency desal water. I stretched my showers out to a week apart but I start looking like Gabby Hays and probably smell like his cooking. Today’s Union says NID wants a 36% reduction so we’re down to crunch time. Maybe you and George can have a STEM contest and get the kids brainstorming water saving ideas. I’m thinking about designing a “tiny house” that will be water efficient to the max, along with every other state-of-the-art efficiency. I see a big demand for that in the future.


    • Russ Steele says:

      NOAA did not say if the precipitation will be rain or snow. I will look at past El Niño years and see what the snow condition were. It might be interesting to look at the NOAA forecast temperatures for the winter of 2015/2016.


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