Developing ‘Super’ El Niño Could Match California’s Great Deluge of 1997-98

Current El Niño conditions appear likely to become comparable to the “great” El Niño of 1997-98, according to an experimental prediction system used by the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Atmospheric Research.

“Our forecast system has shown that it can do a remarkably good job of accurately hindcasting past El Niño events when we’ve tested it using historical data, which gives us high confidence in this forecast,” said NCAR scientist Stephen Yeager, who helped lead the modeling effort.

The Southwest US Monsoon Was Strange. Phoenix Was Record Dry, but California and Nevada Were Soaked

The Southwest monsoon has wrapped up, and it featured a weird split of record dry conditions in parts of Arizona and soaking rain, including from the remnants of a former hurricane in California, Nevada and other states.

Reliable Water Supplies Make San Diego Region Well-Prepared for 2024

Thanks to a decades-long supply diversification strategy and continued efficient use of water across the region, the San Diego County Water Authority announced today that the region has reliable supplies to meet demands in Water Year 2024, which started Oct. 1.

Hydrologists use Oct. 1 to begin measuring the snow and rain that will help carry water users through dry summer months the following calendar year. This fall, El Niño conditions continue to strengthen and could bring above-average precipitation to Southern California.

A Very Wet Year for San Diego

San Diego’s water year ends Saturday — and it will be recorded as the 14th wettest year on record for the city.

A recorded 15.72 inches of rain fell at the San Diego Airport over the past 12 months. The weather station there typically sees about 9.5 inches a year.

It was the wettest year ever on Palomar Mountain. Rainfall there totaled 69.24 inches.

California’s First Snow of Season is Coming to Sierra Ski Resorts

Less than two months since Mammoth Mountain’s historic ski season concluded, the first snowfall of the new season is set to arrive in the Sierra Nevada.

Weather models predict a low-pressure system with Canadian roots will bring cool temperatures and rain showers to the California coast and Central Valley on Saturday. In the Sierra Nevada, the air is expected to be cold enough for the first snowfall of the season at Kirkwood Mountain, Mammoth Mountain and other high-elevation ski resorts.

How Powerful Land Barons Shaped the Epic Floods in California’s Heartland

As dark clouds massed over Kings County on the chilly morning of March 18, scores of panicked farmers and landowners packed the Board of Supervisors chambers in Hanford for a third day of emergency hearings. They were there to hurl accusations and blame and to plead with county leaders to do something to divert the floodwaters that were submerging their fields and homes, sapping their livelihoods and now threatening to wipe out the city of Corcoran and farm towns across the region.

Evolution of Drought Response and Resilience in California’s Cities

Drought is a regular event in California. In recent decades, California has experienced five prolonged drought periods (1976-77, 1987-1992, 2007-09, 2011-16, 2020-22). Urban water agencies have responded with investments in supply and demand management measures, which have made California’s cities more resilient to drought effects. What motivated these investments?

El Niño is Getting Stronger, and Odds Are Tilting Toward Another Wet Winter for California

On the heels of a record-setting wet and warm August, forecasters on Thursday announced that El Niño is gaining strength and will almost certainly persist into 2024.

El Niño, the warm phase of the El Niño-La Niña Southern Oscillation pattern, is a major driver of weather worldwide and is often associated with hotter global temperatures and wetter conditions in California.

Atmospheric River Forecast to Bring Rain to Northern California

A moisture-rich atmospheric river that’s being called the first storm of the season is forecast to deliver rain to Northern California as early as Sunday night with the chance for showers continuing into Monday and Tuesday. Eureka and areas to the north are expected to see the heaviest rainfall with totals of 1 to 3 inches, while the Bay Area is likely to receive only light showers, according to the National Weather Service.

Biggest Players in Western Water Politics Gather at Politifest 2023

It’s been 20 years since the largest water agencies in Southern California agreed on a historic deal: San Diego would buy water from Imperial Valley farmers. More importantly, though, the deal outlined exactly how much water these agencies could claim from the Colorado River and reduced the amount of water California took from the river.