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El Nino doesn't necessarily mean rain

Published On: May 16 2014 08:46:28 PM CDT

When people hear the word "drought" they think “lack of water,” but drought brings several other problems along with it, including fire.

 “State wide in California, we are expecting a very busy fire season," says Meteorologist Logan Johnson, from the National Weather Service.

 There has also been the term “El Nino” thrown around lately which is because we could see one later this fall. All an “El Nino” really means that the water near the equator in the Pacific Ocean gets warmer. The problem meteorologists have been facing is that people hear the term “El Nino” and think that means a lot of rain is coming our way, which isn’t always the case.

 “As the year progresses we'll probably start seeing very active fire conditions develop in Monterey County as well as the rest of the Bay Area," Johnson said.

This isn't the first year California has been in a drought. Just now we are beginning to see the effects of one that has been occurring for several years. For example, the Santa Cruz Mountains has a rainforest-like landscape. That means there is a lot of fuel that is extremely dry and ready to burn.

If there is any hope for rain, Johnson said, “What we need to look at is, is this going to be a strong El Nino or a weak El Nino and  that's going to make a big difference for us.”