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California Experiencing Unusual Weather As El Nino Approaches

California Experiencing Unusual Weather As El Nino Approaches

SACRAMENTO, CA - In the midst of a crippling drought, California is now experiencing rain. Although light, the fact that rain is falling at all is setting new records across Southern California, according to the National Weather Service in Los Angeles. Slate reported that this year's August 3rd broke new rainfall records across counties in the LA region and was even the first time rain was ever experienced on that day in Woodland since records began being kept in 1949.

In Northern California light rain is also being felt. In fact, on the way to our office in Sacramento, AndNowUKnow reporters looked up in semi-shock at the light drizzle being felt on our faces.

This recent weather comes against a backdrop which is starkly different. The U.S. Drought Monitor says that 80% of California is currently experiencing “extreme drought” and 58% of the state is in “exceptional drought” and yet we see the approach of rain. What does this mean?

The honest answer is probably very little. Current weather forecasts do not project this brand of unusual weather to continue beyond the very immediate future although it may serve as a reminder that help could be on the way if the El Nino conditions predicted for this fall do develop to their full potential.

AndNowUKnow reported earlier this summer that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was predicting a 82% chance of El Nino weather patterns developing in California this coming fall. A strong El Nino season almost always bring heavy rainfall to California, although the weak to moderate El Nino weather patterns then predicted by Bill Patzert, a research scientist and oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, only bring rainy weather about half the time.

These light summer showers may not have much predictive power in and of themselves for future weather patterns, but they may offer California growers some much needed hope that more rain is on the way.