El Niño could bring more needed rain, but not enough to end the drought

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SAN DIEGO -- The recent storms which brought much needed rain and caused flash floods in the Midway District late last week could be only the beginning of more rainy weather headed our way over the next few months as experts are forecasting the return of El Niño.

These episodes of strong precipitation came on what’s usually the end of the rainy season.

“The May rains we’re getting here right now could be the tip of the iceberg,” said Geologist Patt Abbott, who’s spent years studying the climatological phenomenon.

Abbott describes El Niño as a reverse effect in trade winds going east, instead of west.

That change in winds is moving warmer waters our direction.

“That increases the moisture in the clouds and the rainfall we experience,” said Abbott.

In 1997 and in the 80’s El Niño nearly doubled the amount of rainfall for us, which would be welcome news in this drought.

It could also bring enough rain to refill San Diego's reservoirs, but still not enough to end the drought said Abbott.

“That doesn’t take care of the future, we have some very large problems that have not been addressed,” said Abbott.