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Ready for El Niño?



Ellen Griffin
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


SFSU experts available for tips, commentary, predictions

The start of winter rains in Northern California and another El Niño year prompt dozens of questions, from how severe this year's rainy season will be, to where's the best location to book a ski trip. For analysis, commentary and insight to inform your reporting, add these San Francisco State University experts to your contacts list: Dr. John Monteverdi, professor of meteorology
Office: (415) 338-7728; After 5 p.m.: (510) 653-4320; E-mail:
Web site:

A certified consulting meteorologist and fellow at the California Academy of Sciences, Monteverdi specializes in research on severe and unusual weather events in California, including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and El Niño/La Niña events. He is a native of San Francisco and has been following weather from the time, as a child, he installed a rain gauge in his backyard.

"It looks like this year's El Niño will be a moderate one, with average rainfall to slightly above average in north-central California and above normal rainfall in Southern California, with most effects cropping up after mid-December," Monteverdi says.

The result, he predicts, should be milder than usual temperatures in the Bay Area and an end to the drought that has gripped Southern California for more than two years. He notes that the mountains of Southern California are likely to get "the biggest snowfall in years."

Jan Null, adjunct professor of meteorology
Office: (510) 657-2246; E-mail:

Null, also a certified consulting meteorologist for Golden Gate Weather Services, has 24 years' experience as a lead forecaster for the National Weather Service and is a certified consulting meteorologist. He is an expert in California weather and the impact of El Niño and La Niña on the Golden State.

"The expected weak to moderate El Niño for the winter of 2002-2003 is not a strong indicator of either above- or below-normal rainfall for the northern two-thirds of California," Null says. "Conversely, past weak to moderate events have led to above-normal rainfall in Southern California."


Student writer Scott Heil assisted in writing this press release.


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Last modified December 11, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs