With no rain in the forecast for the rest of 2020 — thanks to a La Niña weather pattern pushing storms north of the state — the probability of California entering a multi-year drought is increasing.
“We did fortunately get some rain in November,” said Michelle Mead, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. “However, since that time, it has been drying, and we even had some wind events. So we’re very quickly back into fire season.”
An autumn with little rain and a forecast for a dry December is reminding weather and climate experts of the patterns that took place before last year’s mild winter. That season, much of the state only got about half of what’s normal, bringing a majority of Northern California into what could be two years of below average precipitation.
With more than two-thirds of the state experiencing some sort of drought and water supplies just below average, another dry year wouldn’t break the bank. But it could point to a trend — mulit-year droughts — not too far back in California’s memory.