Climatologist predicts a wet winter, but warns the drought isn’t over

Dec 28, 2016

Rain Storms Threaten Parched Southern California With Mudslides

Bob Lavezzari clears ashen mud from his street in a neighborhood threatened with a possible major mudslide below a burned hillside as a storm brings rain in the midst of record drought.; Credit: David McNew/Getty Images


Los Angeles received about five times the amount of rain this December than it did during the same month last year.

William Patzert, a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has attributed our wetter weather to several changes, including a dissipated “blob” and an absent La Niña condition. Though this is good news, Patzert said it’ll take more than a single rainy season to quench California’s drought.

Guest host Patt Morrison speaks with Patzert and Daniel Swain to find out more about what’s in store for Southern California’s weather forecast.

You can read more here.

On predicting rainfall:

William Patzert: I’m pretty optimistic that as we get into the wetter months — which are January, February and March — you’re definitely going to get to use your umbrella this winter.  

Daniel Swain: I think it’s a little bit early to say that [rain] is something we’re going to continue to see for the rest of the winter, continuously, and that it’s something we can rely on. But I’m hopeful. Already, just based on what’s fallen to date, we’re in better shape than we were this time last year, and certainly in a better state than we were a couple of years ago.

Quotes have been edited for clarity.


William Patzert, a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Daniel Swain, NatureNet postdoctoral fellow, UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He tweets from @Weather_West

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