Even as huge hopes have arisen about El Niño's impacts on this winter's precipitation in California, there's also a big caution flag out there: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) hasn't changed at all (cold West Pacific; warm East Pacific). It's scary. So, I've decided to yearn for a more-modest goal. Let's just have a normal winter, for once, rather than this worsening dystopian nightmare we've been stuck with since 2011.
Even though the winter rainy season has just started, it's very pleasing so far. Typically the season starts abruptly on November 1st: this winter, it started on November 2nd. Both of the small storms we've experienced came in stronger than forecast. Indeed, the low pressure center of the last storm passed directly over Sacramento. Rainfall at Sacramento Executive Airport (0.56" + 0.74" = 1.30") puts more than halfway to November normal of 2.04", so even if we have a long stretch before the next rain, we are likely to hit our mark. Temperatures are normal, for once. The rains weren't heavy enough to trigger landslides in the burn areas. The weirdest thing so far, given how Pacific temperatures are all weirded out, is just how normal things are here.
Now, both small storms were from the northwest, from the Gulf of Alaska. The El Niño monster sleeps, for now (although it's been lashing Texas, and is forecast to send tentative probes this week to Baja California). Southern California is mostly unaffected by the rains, so far.
Here is a map of rainfall amounts in California and Nevada over the last day.