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Texas Storms May Be Precursor Of Drought-Busting El Nino For California

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The torrential rains in Texas have ended the drought there, but also have created devastating floods.

Experts say something similar could be coming to California in a few months in the form of El Nino.

"We could actually see significant rain like they're seeing in Texas, here in California," CBS13 meteorologist Dave Bender said.

The nonstop rains pummeling Texas and Oklahoma are probably influenced by a building El Nino in the Pacific Ocean. If a full-blown El Nino develops, that could mean drought-busting conditions in California this fall or winter.

"The last time we saw an El Nino set up like this was back in 1997," Bender said. "If you recall back in '97, we had some pretty decent amount of rain come in here."

The storm in 1997 spilled into disaster.

"There was flooding everywhere here. and we had some issues where you had some levee breaches," Bender said.

National Weather Service senior meteorologist Robert Baruffaldi says he's not convinced the storms in Texas and Oklahoma are due to El Nino, but he does think there's a good chance California will experience an El Nino pattern that will bring on the storms.

"We've been dry for so long, but perhaps we're overdue," he said.

A good indicator will come from Down Under this summer, Baruffaldi said. If Australia experiences droughts and wildfires, then there will likely be a strong El Nino at the end of the year.

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