By the end of 2015, it had begun raining and snowing throughout California after fifty months of drought.
Meteorologists had long forecasted that the cyclical return of the so-called El Niño Southern Oscillation—the episodic rise in temperature of a band of ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific—would end the drought.
The warmer Pacific alters winds, air temperature, and atmospheric pressures and thus tends to reroute northern storms to their proper course over the Western United States. If the current storm track persists through March, California’s drought may well come to an end.
Was California changed by the catastrophic drought—and did the country at large learn any lessons from it?
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