Oct. 1 is the beginning of what hydrologists call the “water year.” Historically, California’s reservoirs are near their lowest levels by this point after months of being drawn down, mostly to irrigate fields and orchards, during the state’s precipitation-free summer. This October is quite different. Last winter’s heavy rain and snow storms, generated by a series of atmospheric rivers, filled reservoirs even as dam managers fully opened their gates to send as much water downstream as possible. … Hydrologists and meteorologists, moreover, are telling Californians that they may see a repeat in the months ahead, thanks to a phenomenon known as El Niño, and it potentially could surpass last winter’s storms.
-Written by CalMatters columnist Dan Walters.