By Holly Quan

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The latest long-term forecast shows a dwindling chance of an El Niño weather system developing for the Pacific, which means that hopes for California getting out of this drought are drying up as well.

Scientists at the Climate Prediction Center had originally said there was an 80 percent chance of an El Niño this winter, now the latest models drop that to 65 percent due to the cooling of ocean waters this past spring. Though it’s still early and conditions could change, scientists say these latest indicators are disappointing.

Roger Goss, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterey, said it would require a big El Niño to make a dent in the state’s water supplies.

“Even if we get a normal year of rainfall across the region this winter, it’s still going to keep us in a deficit for the past three years that we’ve been in this drought,” he said.

There could be a weak to moderate El Nino beginning in fall but sometimes those conditions bring dry winters to Northern California and more rain to Southern California. While it’s still several months out which means anything can happen but at this point scientists aren’t counting on Mother Nature to take the state out of the drought soon.


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