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El Nino-Driven Storms to Dent California’s Drought with Inches of Rain Next Week

Following a warm, dry February in California, a shift in the weather pattern will open the door for several storms to soak the state during the second week of March.

Enough rain may fall to put a noticeable dent in the drought across the state.By the end of this weekend, storms will usher in moderate to heavy rain across California and heavy snow to the Sierra Nevada.

Drought-Struck California Finally Looks Due for an Epic Soaking

In the past, powerful El Niños have typically delivered about 22 inches of rain to the city by this time; the current amount is far below that. To reach the El Niño average of 30 inches by the beginning of summer, the NWS writes, “we would need more than two tenths of an inch every day through the end of May.”

That seemed improbable a few days ago — and still iffy today — but there’s a developing weather pattern that’s boding drenching days ahead for drought-struck California. Weather models are predicting torrential rains through the weekend, with more than 12 inches of precipitation possible in the mountains.


California’s Snowpack Falls Below Average, Sparking New Drought Fears

After a promising start to winter, California’s snowpack has shrunk to below-average levels, causing state water officials to redouble their calls for water conservation.

On Tuesday, the statewide snowpack stood at only 83% of average for the day, a result the California Department of Water Resources blamed on fall and winter seasons that have brought only “moderate precipitation” and “relatively warm temperatures.”