California has been struggling with crippling drought conditions for years — but this fall and winter it will have to contend with a storm season so extreme it’s becoming known as the “Godzilla El Niño”! Will it be enough to break the state’s dry spell?
According to the National Weather Service, data showing continued warm sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean predict a strong El Niño to peak in late fall or early winter, possibly even lasting into the spring. And with it come heavy rains and snows, leading to floods, mudslides, and other disasters to prepare for.
Unfortunately, it may not do much to help the state’s water deficit. This is partly because one year of heavy precipitation can’t make up for four years of drought. But it’s also because historically, El Niños have only a weak correlation with increased precipitation in Northern and Central California and in the upper Colorado River basin — which is where most of the state’s water supply comes from.