Yessiree ladies and gentlemen, the coming El Niño promises to be a corker, delivering deluges of rain to a parched Southwest and California. Well, maybe. El Niños exactly like the current one that is building strength sometimes do deliver torrents of water, when they don’t. Sometimes New Mexico gets more water but Arizona, California, and Nevada don’t. El Ninos in general mean more water. However, how much more water and where it falls is quite unpredictable.
New Mexico Journalist and water wonk John Fleck explains.
New Mexico water managers, grappling with their fourth straight year of drought, have a tired look in their eyes.Mention El Niño and you’ll see a spark of life. That is because the Pacific climate pattern with the lyrical name is associated with wetter weather.
Step right up folks, come see the Amazing El Niño, bringer of moisture to the parched state of New Mexico! You’ll thrill to its crashing thunderstorms, its snowpacked mountains and brimming rivers!
But you saw what I did there, right? “Is associated with wetter weather.” Already with the weasel words.
The drought in California is far more severe than elsewhere. El Nino dumping huge rain in the Southwest won’t help California, except peripherally via the Colorado River. The bulk of California water comes from snow-melt in the Sierra Nevadas. That’s where the deluges of rain and snow must hit.