How Did a La Niña Winter Become So Rainy?

Jan 9, 2023 at 9:05am

Jill Cowan

As rain has deluged our parched state since New Year’s Eve, many Californians have found themselves asking a familiar question: Is this somehow because of El Niño?

In the California imagination, the climate pattern known as El Niño has an almost mythological status as a harbinger of prolonged wet spells, while its counterpart, La Niña, is associated with drought. The past three years have been La Niña years.

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