Will this Winter’s El Nino be a drought buster?! Don’t count on it.

Will this Winter’s El Nino be a drought buster?! Don’t count on it.

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)has released its Statewide Average Temperature and Precipitation Ranks for January to September of 2014. Not good news for California.

In fact, the NCDC has ranked the first 9 months of the year as the warmest ever (see image) and the 26th driest.

This is especially impressive when you consider the 120 year period of record, from 1894-2014.

Meanwhile, the Climate Prediction Center is indicating a good chance of El Nino, but only into the weak category. Weak El Nino’s in southern California have an increased possibility to bring more rainfall to the area.

The Winter Outlook for Southern California does show above average precipitation and above normal precipitation. A strong high pressure ridge will be persistent among the West Coast, but in Southern California the jet stream will push it out of the way from time to time. If the jet phases with subtropical moisture, we could get some significant rainfall from several storms.

NCDC Ranking Temps 201401-201409

But the NWS San Diego, in a recent briefing, indicated that we would need about 150% of normal precipitation to end the drought, and this is not likely to happen this winter season.

Jim Purpura, CCM
Director of Weather Forecasting