When will rain return to the Bay Area?


(Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The Bay Area’s rainy season began with a bang. October storms drenched Northern California with several inches of rain and dusted Sierra Nevada mountains with snow.

After enjoying November’s sunshine, you may be wondering when storm clouds will return to drought-plagued California.

NOAA recently released its “2021-22 Winter Outlook,” revealing what climate experts are forecasting with La Nina in effect this December.

This winter’s rainy season is shaping up to be very similar to last winter, with below-average rainfall predicted for most of California.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, wrote, “If the winter precipitation outlook verifies well, we would expect some relief from the western U.S. drought in the Northwest but, unfortunately, intensified drought in the Southwest.”

Above-average precipitation forecast for Hawaii, Alaska, Washington and Oregon, Halpert wrote. Looking south, the San Francisco Bay Area has a 33-percent chance of experiencing a drier-than-normal winter.

La Nina typically creates drier conditions to the southern half of the country and wetter conditions in the northern half.

Precipitation Outlook for Dec. 2021 – Feb. 2022. (NOAA)

According to NOAA’s temperature outlook, Northern California has a 33-percent chance of experiencing a warmer-than-normal winter.

Temperature Outlook for December 2021 (NOAA)

Despite October’s rain showers, drought conditions continue to remain in the “extreme” category for the North Bay and South Bay, and “exceptional” for the East Bay.

U.S. Drought Monitor for the Western U.S.

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