Where's El Nino? As Californians we were all warned to weather-proof our homes in preparation for what we hoped would be major rains this winter, but so far it hasn't come through. Not even close. According to NASA, the warm ocean waters caused by El Nino are still present, so there's hope for more rain this season. But the bad news is that it would take months of rain to make up for the severe five-year drought we've been dealing with here in the Golden State. There's a high pressure system blocking rainfall in Southern California, but at least there has been somewhat consistent rainfall in Northern California this winter, which helps in the overall rainfall totals in our state. We actually get most of our water from the melted snow in the Sierra mountain range up north, so at least that puts a little dent in our drought issue. But not so fast...there's another threat to our rainfall totals looming in the distance in the name of "La Nina." Yup, not El Nino, but rather his "female" counterpart. Strong El Nino cycles are usually followed by La Nina cycles. According to NASA scientist George Huffman, if La Nina follows, the warm ocean waters will be replaced by cold waters this summer and fall. If that happens, it will cause LESS rainfall than normal on the west coast of the US the following winter (2016-17). That's the last thing we need, especially since thus far El Nino hasn't come through with rainfall this year as predicted.
The bottom line is we could be dealing with severe drought conditions for the next several years, sadly. We all need to continue to take drastic measures to conserve water. Every drop counts.