Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Borrego Springs - El Niño


Last updated 1/19/2016 at 8:15am

Southern California had one good week of rainfall before the promised El Niño appeared to disappear off the radar.

Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Robbie Munroe says, “We could have certainly had more rainfall to date, but the fact we haven’t had big rain storms isn’t alarming yet. It’s not surprising us per se.”

It seems that El Niño still may have more to give and according to may still provide some Drought relief. “There is some concern, but there would be a lot more concern if we get to the end of this month and there isn’t anything on the horizon,” added Munroe.

Approximately 5,600 acre-feet of water sinks into the aquifer, on average each year from rainfall and other sources. Borrego Springs relies on this water to replenish the small underground basins stretching beneath it.

With 20,000 acre-feet of water being pumped out of the ground each year the aquifers are facing an uphill struggle. “Water levels are dropping about 2 feet per year over the past 20 years,” Geological Survey Supervisory Hydrologist and Program Chief Claudia Faunt said. “Groundwater is the only source of water in Borrego. The annual pumping far exceeds the natural resource on average.”

It was February in 1998, during California’s strongest El Niño, when Southern California was drenched with 14 inches of rain seeing roughly a year’s worth of rain in one month

“We just entered the period when we see peek impacts over North America,” said Mike Alpert, Deputy Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. “During the beginning of January, Southern California got a taste of what’s likely to come later on,” said Monterey station National Weather Service Forecaster Diana Henderson. At the start of the New Year, wide swaths of the region experienced heavy rain, hail, snow, minor mudslides in burn areas. “Wait until Feburary,” added Henderson. “It’s not over yet.”

You might be interested in: