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The new rain year kicked off with a welcome light rain in a month when the valley usually sees sunny skies and 100 degree heat.

Unfortunately, the late-July rain can't directly be tied to El Nino, which is warming equatorial waters.

Right now, a weak to moderate El Nino is expected this winter season. This would help increase the available moisture in the Pacific. The warm moist air could move north toward the pole and bring above average precipitation to the southern United States. This is mostly true in strong El Nino events.

Looking at California's wettest rainy season, 1982-83, Sacramento had no measurable rain in July. In fact, the rain didn't start until September.

It will take a few months before seeing how the developing El Nino will truly affect the upcoming rainy season, but it certainly doesn't hurt our chances of seeing above normal rainfall.

The rain total for this season so far is 0.02 inches. Not a bad start, but we have a long way to go.

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