August 26, 2015

National Weather Service Meteorologist to Discuss 'Will El Niño Wash Away the Drought?' in Free Event at SMWD

Santa Margarita Water District Drought EmergencyA National Weather Service meteorologist will discuss the potential impact of the predicted strong El Niño on California’s epic drought – and what heavy rains might mean to customers in the Santa Margarita Water District – during a free presentation on August 26. 

The event will be held at SMWD offices at 26111 Antonio Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita. There is no charge, but advanced registration is required. Click here to reserve your seat.

Even as California is under conservation rules because of the four-year drought, predictions continue to grow for an El Niño, perhaps the strongest since 1997-98. SMWD customers may recall a series of storms killed 17 people in California and caused an estimated $550 million in damage in February 1998. 

But even a strong El Niño storm season wouldn’t put an end to the drought. Australia suffered through years of drought, had a season of rain, and then returned to more years of drought. Additionally, Southern California’s water supply relies on a hearty snowpack in the Sierras, and El Niños typically are too warm to bring snow. 

National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Alex Tardy will discuss the potential for El Niño and its effects on the drought during the August 26 presentation.  Tardy has worked for the NWS since 1993 and is based in San Diego. He supervises a variety of outreach efforts for the service, and trains a network of weather spotters. 


Tardy has worked at several locations across the country including Vermont, Virginia, Texas, and Utah in a variety of positions including senior weather forecasting duties and science operations officer. He received a bachelor of science in atmospheric science from the State University of New York in Albany and has worked for the National Weather Service for 22 years. 

Because of California’s historic drought, SMWD has asked customers to reduce their water use by 24 percent compared to 2013 use. Customers have responded by meeting that goal, which remains in place through February 2016. 

The District asks that customers cut their outdoor water use by half. For more information on how to be more water efficient, see


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