It's an El Niño Winter
Water watchers from forecasters to farmers are keeping an eye on the Pacific for clues to this winter’s likely precipitation. The Pacific warm-water phase known as El Niño is back, but there's doubt about what that will mean.
Often associated with drenching winter storms, forecasters say this particular occurrence may be too weak to produce a truly wet winter.
El Niño’s effect on Northern California is always a bit ambiguous. The upwelling of warm water near the Equator tends to make things soggier down south and drier in the Pacific Northwest. But Central and Northern California occupy a kind of nether region in which the weather can swing either way.
According to the federal Climate Prediction Center, El Niño conditions are shaping up now and could continue through February.