By Edward Henderson | California Black Media
In 1990, Tony! Toni! Toné !, the Oakland R&B trio, released their hit song “It Never Rains in Southern California”.
For decades now, the crochet words of this timeless R&B song have become something of a go-to jingle (or photo caption) for some proud Southern Californians. They use it to enhance their typically mild winter climate, playfully taunting family and friends on the East Coast or the Midwest, whether they’re grilling outside for Thanksgiving or taking a selfie on a beach in the fall. .
The “never rains” thing is an exaggeration for sure. On average, Southern California receives about 16 inches of precipitation each year. This is of course well below the national annual average (around 38 inches).
And if you were to watch the recent rains and snowstorms across the state over the past month, you’d likely bet on cold, wet weather for the rest of the winter.
But by March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is warning that a warmer, drier winter is coming, not only for southern California but for much of the state – of the Mexican border up over the bay area.
This region includes the top 10 counties, by population, where Black Americans live.
Less rain will worsen the already severe drought conditions in California, especially near the southern border where it has been the driest. About 85% of the state faced drought in June, reports the US Department of Agriculture.
According to NOAA, La Nina, an oceanic atmospheric model, is the cause of the predicted dry and warm winter conditions.
However, the sparsely populated part of California that extends to the Oregon border is expected to become wetter and cooler in the winter.
“The southwest will certainly remain an area of concern as we anticipate below normal precipitation where drought conditions persist in most areas,” said Jon Gottschalk, head of the operational forecasting branch at NOAA.
The outlook does not predict seasonal snowfall accumulations as the snow forecast cannot be predicted more than a week in advance.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center updates the three-month outlook every month. Their latest outlook for seasonal precipitation for the first three months of 2022, predict that southern California will have a 40 to 50 percent chance of below normal precipitation. The outlook for seasonal temperatures remains the same.
The seasonal outlook helps communities prepare for what is likely to happen in the coming months and minimize the impacts of weather on lives and livelihoods. Their goal is to provide people with actionable forecasts and winter weather advice to build a “weather-ready” nation.
“Using the latest observational technologies and computer models, our dedicated forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center produce accurate and timely seasonal forecasts to help communities prepare for the months ahead,” said Michael Farrar. , Ph.D., director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
The latest hydrologic year, which ran from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, was among the driest on record in California, according to the state’s water resources department. A year ago, just 12% of California was mired in extreme drought and 15% was drought-free, according to data from the Federal Drought Monitor. But as of October 19, about 87% were experiencing at least one extreme drought, with more than 45% of the state in the most severe “exceptional” category. And no part of the Golden State is drought-free.
The Center for Disease Control described resources for communities preparing for potential droughts. Visit here for more information.