City News - Press Releases

Posted on: March 7, 2016

Is March the month for El Niño?


ANAHEIM, Calif. (March 7, 2016) -- Anaheim awoke to a taste of El Niño Monday with cold, windy and occasionally heavy rain.

The showers are expected to fade as the day moves on. But weather trackers say that March could be the month that we finally see significant El Niño rain.

"And all indications are that March will be wet," said Alex Tardy, spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency that monitors weather and ocean conditions.

So far, El Niño has been something of a no-show. It's technically here with warmer ocean waters, but we haven't seen much rain.

It is possible we could not see significant El Niño rain this year, Tardy said. But he's not counting on it.

"There's a 30 percent chance that rain in March and April could be insignificant," he said. "But there's a 70 percent probability rainfall will be significant. It's too early to hang up the towel."

Models used by NOAA project March will be wet. Rain and wind associated with El Niño can extend as late as into April or early May, Tardy said.

Current projections have March rainfall at double a normal year, or about 4 inches. That's not the worst El Niño could bring but would be heavy.

The next forecast for rain comes this weekend.

However El Niño plays out, the city of Anaheim continues to clear storm drains, distribute sand and unfilled sandbags, seal and restripe roads and has staged emergency response vehicles and equipment.

We encourage residents and businesses to take some basic, simple steps to safeguard homes, property and loved ones in the event of El Niño rains. Just like preparing for an earthquake, it is better to be safe than sorry.

You can find #BeRainReady tips for your home and road safety at

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