The only reservoir in California above the historical average is Pyramid Lake near Los Angeles. The Metropolitan Water District has been stockpiling water there for years. As for the rest of the reservoirs, it’s dire. The red line is the historic average. The Blue bar is the amount of water in the reservoir now. The red percentage is the percentage of the historic average.
Reservoir levels will continue to drop in California for 2-3 more months. Then the rainy season begins. But will there be rain? Maybe. A weak to moderate El Niño is developing. It is unlikely to bring above average rains. However, even near-normal precipitation would be welcome.
What’s the overall message here? Right now, there aren’t any clear precipitation signals for the upcoming winter. However, it does appear that near or below-average precipitation is the most likely outcome for the fall months, while there are nearly equal chances of above or below normal precipitation later this winter. Because there is no obvious drought relief on the horizon, it would be wise to prepare for another dry year. Stay tuned.