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.

Fall-Like Weather Pattern for CA as El Niño Continues to Strengthen; Odds of a Second Consecutive Wet Winter Rise (Though With Caveats!)

Conditions were much warmer than average this summer across the Pacific Northwest, AZ and NM, and across much of far northern California. Elsewhere in CA, summer temperatures were mostly near long-term averages or even somewhat below in some of the SoCal coastal counties.

Los Angeles DWP Loosens Watering Rules to Three Days a Week, Citing Wet Winter

More than a year after instituting the strictest water conservation orders Los Angeles has ever seen, the L.A. Department of Water and Power announced Monday that it was loosening watering rules for its 4 million customers. Effective immediately, all Angelenos can return to three-day-a-week watering schedules after being placed on two-day-a-week limits in June 2022, the agency said.

Cities’ Thirst Nearly Killed These California Lakes. Not So Fast, Said Our Epic Wet Winter

They’re back! Arising out of their dusty/muddy/sandy graves, the zombie lakes of California are reclaiming their own. For geologic ages, they have lain there, undead — well, often drought-dry, and not their original saturated selves. But now the monumental rains of this winter and spring filled them and then some, reminding us of California’s paleo-hydrology, our ancient lakes and waterways.

When Will California Experience Another Drought? Experts Aren’t Entirely Sure

Most of California is in recovery mode after a years-long drought plagued the Golden State from 2020 until 2022, which depleted the state’s reservoirs and groundwater resources. Thanks to the historic wet winter season, many areas, such as Los Angeles, Merced and Alameda countries, are no longer in a drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. However, with the summer season in full swing, temperatures across the state have begun to increase and the hotter weather brings renewed potential drought concerns for many across the state.

Is California’s Drought Finally Over? Here’s the Impact of the Latest Storms

If there’s concern about California’s wet winter turning dry, consider it shushed.

The heaps of snow over the past week on top of the parade of deluges in early January have been extraordinary and left much of the state with well-above-average precipitation for the season. The winter storms, which account for the bulk of the state’s rain and snow, are forecast to continue into next month, virtually ensuring a good water year for California.