waterdrop

By Matt Weiser
mweiser@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 – 1:20 pm

Despite a hint of rain and snow in the forecast next week, the Sacramento region and California as a whole can expect a third dry winter ahead.

That’s according to an “experimental” long-range forecast released this week by the California Department of Water Resources. The forecast covers the 2014 water year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014. It calls for “mostly dry conditions for most of California,” with dry conditions being especially likely in the south state.

The forecast was done for the state by Klaus Wolter, a Ph.D. meteorologist and research associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Wolter made a similar dry prediction for the state last year, which at first appeared “destined for failure,” he said. That was because December 2012 was extremely wet, partly due to the arrival of a series of atmospheric river storms. Such storms tap into tropical moisture in the far western Pacific Ocean and channel it into a narrow stream often aimed like a fire hose directly at California.

“However, the remainder of the season was record dry, producing an overall result of dry for the water year,” Wolter said in a statement.

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