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Leading Oceanographer Notes Growing Signs Of La Niña In Pacific, Which Could Mean More Drought

(NASA Photo)
Latest NASA images of ocean temperatures in Pacific, which are key indicators of El Nino and La Nina patterns

El Nino was a boom for Northern California, and a bust for Southern California during the last year. Now, some experts say as we approach what should be our rainy season, we appear to be poised on the Central and South Coasts for another year of record drought.

Dr. Bill Patzert is an oceanographer with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. He says there are growing signs of a La Nina pattern developing, which can set the stage for less than average rainfall for the state.

The timing is of this news is especially bad, because the latest statistics show that conservation efforts have slipped for the third month in a row.

Regulators are concerned after years of successful efforts to get people to cut back usage many may be reverting back to old, wasteful habits The JPL researcher, who’s considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on El Nino and La Nina patterns, says there weren’t clear cut indicators of a La Nina developing over the summer.

But, Patzert says the situation has changed in the last few weeks, with indicators of a La Nina growing. Patzert says one of the best predictors of a dry winter for our region a La Nina pattern.

The question now is will it develop, and if so, how significantly will we be affected by it.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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