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Forecasters Say 'El Nino' Summer Likely for Bay Area

If the El Nino develops, summer showers may follow.

By Bay City News Service—       

An El Nino weather watch was issued on Thursday for the Bay Area during the coming summer months, a National Weather Service forecaster said. 
 
NWS forecaster Diana Henderson said that the NWS's Climate Prediction Center has increasing confidence that El Nino weather conditions will develop this summer or fall. 
 
If strong El Nino weather conditions reach the Bay Area, summer showers will likely arrive, Henderson said. 
 
When strong El Nino weather last occurred in California in 2009-10, the Bay Area did not receive significant rainfall, but when El Nino developed in 1997-98, it brought above-average rainfall to the entire state of California, including Northern California, where the state's primary reservoirs are located, according to an El Nino fact sheet released today by the NWS. 
 
While the chance of El Nino this year is about 20 percent higher than most years, according to Henderson, it still may be months away from developing, if it develops at all. 
 
Bay Area residents, meanwhile, have been enduring unusual weather lately with small bursts of lightning visible in San Francisco and surrounding cities on Wednesday night, Henderson said. 

 [Related article: Governor Declares Drought Emergency In California]
 
With the low-pressure system moving out of the Bay Area, residents can expect significantly drier weather in coming weeks, according to the forecaster. 
 
Henderson said residents in Sonoma and Monterey counties are likely to experience an increase in patchy fog for the rest of this week. Additional showers are likely this weekend, but are expected to impact only areas north of the Golden Gate Bridge, according to Henderson. 
 
Sunny skies are likely to reappear and stay for the rest of next week and next weekend, the forecaster said.

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