SoCal is likely to see a dry La Niña winter, new data show

Climate experts say the vast majority of California is already experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Amid California's worst fire season in history, climate experts are predicting hot and dry conditions this winter.

"On average there will be less moisture than we would normally receive here in California," says Dr. Lowell Stott, a professor of earth sciences at the University of Southern California.

After studying the recent data, Stott says Southern California will unfortunately be visited by the rain-averse La Niña weather pattern.

According to the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Southern California has a 90% chance of seeing a dry, La Niña winter - though Stott says that could change.

"It is still possible that we could have some major rainfall events here in California throughout the winter," says Stott.

After seeing a record number of acres burned this year in wildfires, too much rain often brings with it mudslides and considerable damage. However, La Niña also brings higher-than-normal temperatures, and that means the snowpack high in the Sierra Nevada will once again suffer.

"The drier conditions, less snow accumulation, earlier runoff all are going to have potentially detrimental impacts on our water supply next year," says Stott.

Meanwhile, climate experts say the vast majority of California is already experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions.

Long-term forecasts predict hot and dry conditions will prevail for decades and continue to affect more of the western United States.
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