California's historic drought remains severe, and residents must continue to conserve water. At the same time, we must also prepare for the possibility of large storms and coastal/bay flooding.
Weather predictions indicate that large storms may come in the coming months due to warming in the Pacific Ocean known as El Niño.
Storms in California sometimes cause flooding, mud flows, landslides, electrical outages and other impacts.
Using water wisely while taking steps to prepare for winter storms and coastal/bay flooding will help to protect our households, our communities and our state.
Information on this website updates weather conditions and shares what Californians can also do to prepare.
An overview of preparedness for winter storms can be found on the State's Winter Readiness Fact Sheet.
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The types of storms that have been bringing heavy snow and rain to the West this winter, triggering landslides and floods while easing stubborn droughts, are likely to become stronger and more frequent, according to the results of a conclusive new study. Read More>
Californians may see significant coastal flooding more often this winter. With today’s rising sea levels, sometimes all it takes is a high tide to cause flooding.Read More>
With El Niño bearing down, federal emergency officials on Wednesday issued their strongest warnings yet, urging Californians to prepare for the predicted onslaught of storms by taking immediate steps that could save lives and property. Read More>
Making seasonal forecasts of precipitation – the ability to predict now if 2016 will be wet or dry (and how wet or dry) – is scientifically difficult, and the accuracy of such predictions is very
low, much less than that of a seven-day weather forecast. Read More>
California broke a record late last month: Sea levels at several tide stations in Southern California reached higher elevations than ever measured before, including during major storms. Water levels were higher than the “King Tides” that were predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), due to the ongoing El Niño, warm ocean temperatures and a minor storm. NOAA observations for San Diego, La Jolla and Santa Barbara show sea levels for November 25, 2015 higher than the maximum water levels ever recorded at these tide stations. Read More>
The stage is set for a strong El Niño event this winter, but experts are cautioning that heavy rain and even flooding in some parts of the state will not necessarily end California's four-year drought. While there is no single factor that will determine when the drought ends, water managers and other experts will be watching several factors for signs of improvement. ACWA has prepared an infographic (.pdf) with a high-level look at key drought recovery factors and several unknowns that may come into play. Read More>
California El Niño/
Winter Outlook and Flood Preparedness Overview
- Local Winter Preparation (.pdf)
What to Do During a Storm?
What to Do After a Storm?
- Be Storm Ready PSA: CalTrans and CHP recommendations on how to drive during floods and storms.
- Flood Prepare, California! Despite the continuing severe drought, storms in California can create dangerous flood conditions.
- "Where Flood Waters Flow" (Northern California and Southern California): Describes the power of floods, the risks associated with them, and the flood system.
- Flood Fighting Methods: A comprehensive training in flood fighting methods.
- "Do you know your flood risk?": Risks of floods for you and your community.
- "Central Valley Flood Risk": Risks of floods for you and your community in the Central Valley.
- NOAA "Turn Around, Don't Drown": PSA video shows why you should not drive through flooded streets and includes the numbers of deaths associated with driving in flood waters.
- Bay Area Flooding, Sea-level Rise and Wetlands in Providing Flood Protection
- Our Bay on the Brink: Mini-documentary on Bay Area flooding, sea-level rise and how wetlands providing flood protection.