El Nino Leaves Water Management Questions

Taylor HillmanDrought, Water, Weather

Water rushes through an irrigation canal
El Nino conditions are calming down and several areas that normally see precipitation were left dry. This will magnify water management in the future and that will continue to be a driving subject of conversation.

Water Management Questions

Department of Water Resources Climatologist Michael Anderson says El Nino conditions are calming down but those weather pattern predictions don’t always mean precipitation.

Anderson says we most likely will see some rain through the next month or two, however the storms are missing the areas that normally see water during El Nino conditions, such as the southern coast. With most of the water being seen in the north, conversations will remain focused on water movement within the stat’s water system.

Anderson believes that El Nino will fade into summer and a La Nina winter will likely return.

Current Water Conditions
From California Department of Water Resources: To illustrate the wide range of conditions that have been experienced during historical strong El Niño years, the plots below compare present daily precipitation with that observed during six other strong El Niño years. Each plot also shows wettest and driest years for the index during its period of record, as well as a long-term average value.

Northern Sierra precipitation (8-station Index in Sacramento Basin)

Central Sierra precipitation (5-station Index in San Joaquin Basin)

Southern Sierra precipitation (6-station Index in Tulare Basin)

Find out the latest conditions on water and snowpack.