What El Niño could mean for California this winter
The specter of a developing El Niño invokes distressing memories for many Californians. Rainstorms tied to a super-strength El Niño episode overwhelmed southern parts of the state and killed 17 people in the winter of 1997-1998. With forecasts the infamous climate pattern could reach a similar intensity this winter, the Golden State is bracing for more floods, not even a year removed from one of its wettest stretches on record. This fall, California officials are lining up $52 million for levee repairs and, compared to a year ago, longer stretches of temporary flood walls and millions more sandbags to prepare for what the winter might bring.