Moderate El Nino predicted this year
–PGE Meteorologist John Lindsey spoke Wednesday afternoon to members of the Independent Grape Growers of the Paso Robles Appellation (IGGPRA).
The subject was rainfall, which fell lightly as the growers climbed the walkway to Castoro Cellars.
Lindsey spoke for 30 minutes about the long term forecast for the North County. He said atmospheric indicators predict a moderate El Nino this coming rainy season. He forecasts that the North County (District 6) will receive about 110-percent of the average rainfall. Paso Robles receives an average of about 14 inches of rain, so Lindsey estimates the rainfall will be 15-16 inches this rainy season. He predicts San Luis Obispo will receive 25-26 inches of rain. He says 110-percent is pretty good, because the average is impacted by years of heavy rainfall, so most years the rainfall is actually below average.
Lindsey says the North County may get a few inches of rain Nov. 28-30. He says some areas at higher elevations may receive 10-inches of rain from that storm system.
For those who are doubtful about El Nino and the impact ocean currents have on North County precipitation, there’s another predictor with deeper roots among local farmers and ranchers. Oak trees are rumored to produce more acorns before years with heavy rainfall, ostensibly in anticipation of a wet winter. Lindsey says acorn production on the Central Coast this year has been extraordinary. He’s noticed a bumper crop of acorns around the PG & E Energy Center near Avila Beach. The acorns may be another sign the North County will receive above average rainfall in 2018-2019.
Lindsey’s daily forecasts are available on his Facebook page and on Twitter. (email@example.com and twitter.com/PGE_John)