Early signs predict El Nino headed to Southland

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Wet weather may be headed to the Southland this winter, as experts say early signs of El Nino are promising. (KABC)

Wet weather may be headed to the Southland this winter, as experts say early signs of El Nino are promising.

El Nino is the warming of Pacific waters near the equator that tends to bring large amounts of rain to California.

"The National Weather Service is telling us 80 to 90 percent this will be the real deal. It will be the great wet hope and it will deliver a wet winter," said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories.

But weather experts across the country were predicting El Nino conditions last winter.

Patzert called it an "El Wimpo," and 2014 went down as bone dry.

"Last winter was the fourth punishing year of drought, almost no snowpack," Patzert said. "It was definitely not El Nino, but 'El No-Show.'"

This year, however, Patzert says the signs are more encouraging, but he admits it is still early to declare El Nino a given.

Even a solid El Nino though won't solve California's water problems.

"It's not a drought buster. It will take many years of above average rainfall and snowpack to get us out of the situation that we're in," Patzert said.

A true El Nino may also serve as a double-edged sword, bringing with it the possibility of storm damage.
Related Topics:
weathernasarainel ninodroughtwater conservationbeat the droughtLa Canada-FlintridgeLos Angeles CountySouthern CaliforniaCalifornia
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