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New analysis: little relief, more dry weather ahead

National Drought Mitigation Center

The storms that soaked parts of the Central Coast last week, may be the last we'll see of that size for the remainder of the rainy season.

The National Drought Mitigation Center has released its predictions for the coming months, and as far as the Central Coast and most of California are concerned, we can expect more dry days ahead.

"The outlook for California for the next week or so is for some light storminess across the northern tier of the state, just clipping some of the key watershed areas of the Sierra Nevada," said USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey. "But, looking beyond that for the remainder of March, looks like a lot of the storminess will recede to the north leaving the state high and dry with above normal temperatures."

Sadly, the outlook for the spring is also for much of the same. We can expect a generally warm, dry weather pattern as we head through the end of California's wet season.

The drought center also released its updated drought severity map of California today. Santa Barbara's South Coast improved a bit.. but still remains in an extreme drought status. San Luis Obispo County saw little or no change.

Currently a little more than 20 percent of the state is listed as being in the most critical drought category, which is D4—or Exceptional Drought.

On a brighter note, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its monthly statement today regarding the probability of an El Nino weather pattern developing later this year. It shows a greater than 50 percent chance for the September to December period. El Nino patterns typically produce wetter-than-average weather conditions.