We’ve only just begun the 2014 water year. How dry it will be remains uncertain.
But the Department of Water Resources has been working with researchers to try to improve winter weather forecasting, at lead times ranging from several weeks to several months in advance.
Researchers consider various global weather patterns like El Nino and La Nina.
So far, indicators suggest dry conditions are likely. But Jeanine Jones with DWR says there’s one caveat.
“California’s precipitation patterns are such that really only 10, 12 large storms pretty much determine our water year," says Jones. "So if we’re missing a few of the large storms or we get a few extra or stronger ones, that’s really what tips us from wet to dry.”Water years 2012 and 2013 were both dry. Nearly 30-percent of the state is already experiencing extreme drought.