Northern California's Sierra Nevada mountains are having a pretty good snow year, but the monster El Niño we're in right now hasn't been able to fully quench the state's drought. Currently, about 38 percent of the state is considered to be in "exceptional drought" — the worst possible designation. While that's less area than was under exceptional drought three months ago (and barely below the mark a year ago), California is still a long way from being flush with water.
That's especially true in Southern California, which was supposed to be the greatest beneficiary of a strong El Niño. Turns out, not all El Niños are the same for ski country's purposes. The concentration of warm water in the Pacific that defines the weather pattern isn't in the same area as it was in previous boomer snow years for Southern California. It also doesn't help that there's a high-pressure system currently blocking snow from reaching the region.
- Climate: El Niño not a drought-buster for California yet [Summit County Citizens Voice]
- A Super El Niño Storm Closes Lake Tahoe's Alpine Meadows [Curbed Ski]
- El Niño Hiatus: When Will the West See Snow Again? [Curbed Ski]
- Thanks to El Niño, California's Snowpack is the Deepest it's Been in Five Years [Curbed Ski]