Hopes Rise for a Strong El Niño to Ease California Drought

Local news

Darrell Carlis of Fresno hikes past patchy snow at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park on Jan. 23. The arrival of a potentially powerful El Niño this coming winter could rejuvenate the thin Sierra snowpack. (Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

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In Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico, destructive storms flooded communities and unleashed a tornado, leaving more than two dozen dead.

Across Southern California, this month has been decidedly cooler and wetter. San Diego had its wettest May in 94 years, and Los Angeles saw nearly four times its average rainfall. This month, the San Diego Padres were forced to call a rain delay — only the fifth time that has happened in Petco Park’s 11-year history. Even the Mojave Desert is running as much as 5 degrees cooler than normal.

To some scientists, these are signs that the elusive, unpredictable El Niño weather phenomenon is gaining strength — and offering a glimmer of hope after more than three years of extreme drought.

El Niños have been responsible for two of California’s wettest and most destructive rainy seasons: the winters of 1982-83 and 1997-98.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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