El Niño: Where the Heck is the Rain?

Mark Jackson at the National Weather Service Office in Oxnard points to an El Niño graphic and says “You see how there’s a little bit warmer water everywhere?"

Jackson is the Meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service here. He and other forecasters say, El Niño is out there. It’s not a storm. It’s an ocean condition that includes a breakdown of the trade winds, warming of water plus, says Jackson, “It is literally piling water in the eastern Pacific.” In some spots as much as 25 inches above average.

But, with very little rainfall in Southern California since the season started some have wondered if what had been dubbed the GODZILLA of all El Niños isn’t just a big bust! Says Jackson, “Well, one thing to keep in mind is February is our peak in rainfall.”

He says that the good news is that the rain has gone to the north so, we haven’t had those awful mudslides and flash floods. Also good is that the Sierras have been getting a lot of snow… well above normal! Jackson says, “What we’re seeing on average everything is between 100 and 130% of normal.” 

Okay, so we’re getting more dry skies than wet ones. But, Thursday, the Climate Prediction Center said there’s a good chance we’ll have a wetter-than-normal February. So, as Jackson says, "there is plenty of time, for a rainy El Niño season.

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