But while an El Niño in that timeframe would likely set us up for a saltwater sportfishing season of epic proportions, that’s a dry period for our region, and an El Niño would not create any abnormal rain in that period.
In May, scientists with NOAA CPC said they’d need more data to predict the likelihood of an El Niño later in the year, as well as the strength of the event.
Apparently, they’ve seen what they needed to see, and with their latest update yesterday, NOAA CPC/IRI forecasters are now calling for more than a 90% chance of El Niño in the fall, and an 85% chance of those conditions persisting through the winter.
“El Niño events affect the strength and position of the jet stream, and tilt the odds toward more rain than average along the West coast and in the Southeast during the winter,” NOAA blogger Emily Becker said in her recent entry.
That might just be the best news the San Diego freshwater fishing scene has gotten in years. And with San Vicente inching closer to being finished, a wet fall and winter this year might allow the lake to open at some point in 2015.
Heavy rainfall would save a number of the other lakes, tops amongst those are Barrett, Cuyamaca, Morena, and Sutherland in particular, all of which are operating at historically low water levels. Morena, the worst of those, is at only 3.2% of its total capacity, a puddle in comparison to it’s full pool.
Still, NOAA is cautioning us not to get our hopes set too high, “El Niño loads the dice in favor of certain impacts, but it doesn’t guarantee them. However, stronger events tend to lead to more predictable effects,” Becker says.
So, this winter might, could, probably, should…save our beloved lakes, but nothing is guaranteed.