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Environment

Climate Scientist: Don't Count On El Nino To End California's Drought

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DANIEL A. ANDERSON
/
UC Irvine
Jay Famiglietti is a Senior Water Scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and a UC Irvine professor

Federal climate scientists say it was a record warm June for California. Capital Public Radio's Ed Joyce reports the hot weather is forecast to continue into the fall.

In this fourth year of drought, NOAA says California had its warmest June in 121 years. The agency said last year was the warmest on record for the state. And this last winter, California had a record-low snowpack in the Sierra.

Famiglietti: "I think that this past winter is representative of what we will very likely be seeing more of in the future."

Jay Famiglietti is a Senior Water Scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and a UC Irvine professor.

Famiglietti: "As the snowpack diminishes and the snow season shrinks, that will impact our water resources and of course, there's a direct link with water and dryness and fire so I think we can expect that to become more severe in the future."

Famiglietti says it would take two-to-three years of above-average precipitation - rain and snow - to erase the water supply deficit in California.