NOAA Predicts Warmer, Drier Conditions for Winter in California

By on October 20, 2020
California water crisis

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released their winter forecast for the U.S. and it’s not a particularly rosy picture for California.

NOAA’s forecast shows warmer, drier conditions across the southern tier of the U.S. thanks in part to an ongoing La Nina. Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center are also closely monitoring persistent drought conditions. With a La Nina climate pattern in place, southern parts of the U.S. may experience expanded and intensifying drought during the winter months ahead.

“With La Nina well established and expected to persist through the upcoming 2020 winter season, we anticipate the typical, cooler, wetter North, and warmer, drier South, as the most likely outcome of winter weather that the U.S. will experience this year,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

While Californians can expect modest probabilities for warmer than normal temperatures and drier conditions, the ongoing La Nina is expected to expand and intensify drought conditions in the months ahead.

Thankfully, the winter of 2018-19 has kept the state’s reservoirs at 93% capacity through September, but with a lackluster 2020 water year the state can’t afford another year of drought like the five-year cluster of a few years ago.