Original post continues below.
After a rather hellishly dry winter for the 4th year in a row, this spring sure has been an exciting one to say the least. Last month, a deep Gulf of Alaska trough brought a brief but substantial set of unusual spring downpours, and here we are, on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. There was an inside slider (ugh!) last week that did manage to bring at least some measurable precipitation... ah, but now there's yet another deep Gulf of Alaska trough approaching. This one is set to hit tomorrow night into Friday, bringing a maelstrom of thunderstorms (including ones capable of producing [!] more hail ― possibly much bigger, say, the size of golf balls this time around since spring cloud tops are much higher than winter ones) and heavy downpours, not to mention extreme snowfall amounts in the range of two feet or more above 5000 feet in elevation. All this in what is normally the first month of California's dry season, and the result is a May that could end up being, just with these two storms alone, more than three times the average.
Since the southern hemisphere is now approaching its winter with an El Niño now rapidly intensifying, there's only one way the El Niño can go from here: into total overdrive. Expect to see that booster keep sending more and more Antarctic air through the back door, into the tropical Pacific, and set into motion a favorable environment for rapid El Niño intensification throughout the Northern Hemisphere summer and fall, sending the eastern Pacific hurricane season into overdrive (again) while shearing Atlantic storms apart at the same instant. Finally, as next winter comes into play, what fuels the EPAC hurricanes also fuels atmospheric rivers. Convection in the Pacific remains east of the date line. This tropical convection ― which is in turn a result of the El Niño induced westerly wind bursts ― is what atmospheric rivers depend on for fuel, and since those storms then go on to drag the tropical convection eastward, they also drag the westerly wind bursts east with them, strengthening the El Niño even more throughout the winter. Finally, as the spring comes around, it quiets down... but by then the drought will have been completely erased thanks to rainfall totals on par with 1997-98 (or more extreme still) that could easily top three, four, even five feet of rain and as much as 60 feet of Sierra snow in the same instant. Consider yourself warned, drought: you may have only left us with one year of water, but with this El Niño feedback loop now taking off, you also only have one year left to taunt us.