By Jen Kinney.
With January more than half over and the much-hyped dousing of southern California by El Nino-related storms nowhere to be seen, weather experts are urging patience.
The smattering of short-lived El Nino-driven storms that hit California in early January were actually ahead of schedule, experts told the Los Angeles Times this week. In previous El Nino years, the majority of the rainfall has occurred in February, March, and even April and May.
In other words, the wettest is yet to come.
That’s good news for California’s drought-parched cities, but it’s also a challenge. El Nino storms are remarkable less for their intensity than for their persistence. Once the rains start, storms might keep coming, one after another.
California cities need to capitalize on rains to mitigate water shortages, while preparing for the risk that so much water falling on parched soil could fail to absorb into the groundwater, overwhelm the system and cause flash floods.