Californians have been looking forward to El Niño coming this year and easing the stress of the state’s five-year drought. With the beginning of March here, the end of the drought doesn’t look promising. NASA has been breaking down the affects of El Niño and what it means for California.

They’ve offered up both good and bad news. The good is that El Niño is still here, so there’s still some time to get the storms into California. We’re expected to see rainfall in the entire state. Unfortunately, we’ll need several month’s worth of rainfall to make up for the drought we’ve been experiencing. Northern California is getting some precipitation now and the Sierras are finally seeing normal snow levels, but the rest of the state isn’t quite as lucky.

Perhaps more upsetting is the threat of La Niña, which typically follow El Niño cycles. La Niñas generally bring lower rainfall on the West Coast the following winter. With this news, the likelihood that California’s drought will continue appears strong.

Efforts to conserve water should remain on the list of priorities for California residents. Educate yourself on water conservation, your city or county’s ordinances and be sure to do your part to decrease the effects of the drought. With many areas of California having been without running water for far too long, it’s important to make sure that we do everything we can to bring comfort and safety to all residents in the state.