Weather Experts Predict Another Drought-Free Year For California

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Californians can look forward to another year free from drought, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) spring 2024 outlook. The recent report suggests that the state is likely to experience higher-than-average temperatures in April, May, and June, but there's also an equal chance of rain, NBC Bay Area reports

The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, a crucial water source that slowly melts in spring to feed rivers during the dry season, is expected to remain around normal. This is great news for California, which has recently been relieved from years of severe drought conditions thanks to recent storms. The state is expected to remain drought-free for a second consecutive year.

"2024 began with a parade of atmospheric rivers, but the focus of this moisture this year was further south into Central and Southern California," said Jon Gottschalck, chief of the Operational Prediction Branch from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "All of the rain helped eliminate the state's drought and supplied major reservoirs with plenty of water. Most of the east and California are expected to remain drought-free this spring."

However, residents are urged to stay vigilant.

"Things can change very quickly during the spring, and we are worried about some areas for extreme heat, wildfire risk, where some dry areas do exist," Gottschalck added. People are encouraged to keep a close eye on their local forecast because isolated storms could pop up this spring, which could trigger localized flooding.

Looking ahead, NOAA predicts that El Niño will weaken through the spring into a neutral state before La Niña conditions develop this summer. National Water Center Director Ed Clark said below average precipitation can be expected across the southwest so flood risk in California will remain low, per ABC 7.

"We're not seeing any signals for even minor flooding in California," Clark said.

In conclusion, while the outlook is favorable, Californians should always be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.

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