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El Nino Conditions Already Weakening

As robust storms continue to move through California, El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean are already starting to weaken, a National Weather Service expert says.


Sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific that serve as a key fuel for the weather phenomenon are starting to cool, although a strong El Nino is expected to persist in the Northern Hemisphere through the winter, said Michelle Mead, a National Weather Service warning coordinator.


The current weather pattern, fed by a dominant subtropical southern jet stream, is typical for a strong El Nino winter, Mead said in an email.

Clashes on California Water Resume In DC with Introduction of Drainage Bill

U.S. lawmakers from California have more political turbulence ahead of them with the introduction Tuesday of a bill to settle a long-running San Joaquin Valley irrigation drainage dispute.


The legislation by Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, would implement a sweeping drainage settlement reached between the Obama administration and the Westlands Water District. It also reignites some of the same regional and partisan conflicts that have dogged past water bills.

The Seven Charts You Need to Fathom California’s Water Prospects

It’s finally raining in California — just when we’d begun to think that it would never rain again. But the state is deep in water debt. Traditionally, California has depended on snowmelt for about a third of its water. The recent storms have gotten California’s snowpack up to slightly above average for this time of year, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to refill reservoirs.

Getting More Water in the West: Key Legislation Failed in 2015; Will This Year Be Any Different?

This summer, as California was struggling through its most severe recent year of drought, two California members of Congress unveiled legislation meant to ease the pain.


Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Rep. David Valadao introduced, separately and respectively, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2015 and the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015. Though both are aimed primarily at their home state, the bills’ scope is West-wide.

Two Feet of Snow Expected Across Northern Sierra Nevada This Week

A series of storms passing over Northern California are expected to drench residents in rain and dump up to 2 feet of snow on the northern Sierra Nevada, a precious water resource the state relies on in the spring, the National Weather Service said.


The storms are expected to bypass Southern California, according to the weather service.


Starting Tuesday night, the first of the storms is expected to reach from San Mateo to Sonoma before moving farther inland toward the Sierra Nevada. The region’s forests between the coast and the mountains could see up to eight inches of rain by Monday while the mountains could get 2 feet of snow, said Karl Swanberg, a forecaster with the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office.

OPINION: El Niño: Why the Hype?

I will admit, I was out of town during last week’s storms, attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but from what I heard while in Sin City our poor, dear coastal North County was all but obliterated.


“El Niño is here!” my wife texted me, saying the whole family was holed up and she was making chili. “I sure hope the lights don’t go out.”


I made light of her concern and received a stern rebuke: “You’re not here. You don’t what what it’s like. This is serious.”