Oakland, California - California is just three days into its new water year and the outlook is grim.
The state just capped off the driest three years in its history, yet experts are predicting another dry year ahead.
The National Weather Service 3-month, long range outlook, not a forecast or prediction shows, at best, an even or below chance of normal rain.
"In talking in the sort of outlook frame where we're looking for things that can give us an idea about which way things might be going," said National Weather Service Science and Operations Officer for the Bay Area and Monterey, Warren Blier.
Computer models consider water temperatures in the Pacific near the equator to be a key weather influencer for California's possible precipitation. Right now, the water is cooler, which points experts to expect a La Nina.
La Niña intensifies the average atmospheric circulation—surface and high-altitude winds, rainfall, pressure patterns—in the tropical Pacific. Over the contiguous United States, the average location of the jet stream shifts northward. The southern tie
"La Nina events tend, a little bit more, to be associated with drier winters than wetter winters," said Blier.
Experts say the forecasted La Nina is not a strong one. Blier said the chances of California having another dry winter increase a bit from 50/50 to 60/40.
The University of Nebraska's Drought Monitor shows, most areas of the state affected by sever drought are agricultural lands.
With California's six mega reservoirs, on average, only a third full, and a dry forecast ahead, even more conservation may be a necessity.
"The odds are tilted that way, but it's far from a certainty," said Blier.