While California has been devastated by drought for more than five years, the recent rains from the weather pattern caused by El Nino winds will not solve the problem entirely. While smaller reservoirs are seeing an increase in water levels and a return of fish and other wildlife, the larger ones remain low. NASA climatologists expect that even with the record rain storms that El Nino will create, the drought has been so bad, for so long, that it would take close to 10 years of above average rain fall and above average snowpack to completely eradicate the damage of the longest drought in recent history.
In the Los Angeles area for instance, most of the rain that falls flows out to the Pacific Ocean before it can do any good. While the rain is needed, the fact that it will likely come all at once, similar to the last pass of El Nino in 1998, is troubling. The wild fires that have ravaged southern California have left some homes literally at the edge of mud cliffs. Devastating rains could result in homes being washed away in mudslides. It might be a case of too much water, too late in some areas.