The latest U.S. winter outlook spells trouble for dry California as rising sea levels and unpredictable storms make California vulnerable to flooding. But California doesn’t need another storm, which would only worsen what is happening now. The state only needs to prepare for rain, which is already well in evidence for much of the state. The problem is that we don’t have enough rain, and the forecast for the next couple of months shows that we will not be getting much. The problem with this scenario is that every storm has the potential to produce worse conditions that would make California worse than it already is. There will always be a chance that California could go down in history like Florida, which lost 20 million people to the storm. But even then, in the face of these forecasts, the odds of California being swamped and destroyed are quite small.
The National Weather Service is projecting 2-4 inches of rain in the next couple of months. This will lead to flood risks in many places along the coast as water is driven inland by storms. But the drought here has caused the reservoir levels to drop from the already low levels they were at when the drought ended in 2012. We have already used up most of the water that was in the reservoirs during the drought. The only place left to use is the Colorado River. This will not produce the kind of water we need to recharge the reservoirs, and if more rain falls it will cause more flooding problems. If the drought ends in the middle of next year, as the governor may insist for political reasons, then we will have used all the water from the reservoirs. It is unlikely that the drought will end like this, even though it may mean a lot less water to deal with.
This forecast is likely enough to make California as a whole miserable again. I can foresee the same scenes that we went through in the last couple of months in the drought-parched Central Valley, where farmers will either be forced to sell now to pay for their losses, to leave because of the risk of losing