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Climate forecasters are predicting this winter’s El Niño to be among the largest on record. However, what that means for Santa Cruz County is unknown.

National Weather Service forecasters now say we are very likely to see normal winter rainfall, and a strong possibility of above-average rain. El Niño is not likely to end our drought.

Given Santa Cruz County’s history of severe weather events and damage, many residents are understandably concerned about what this winter holds. The County is making these resources available to help residents protect themselves and their loved ones.

Click one of the boxes below to view more information/resources:


What is El Niño?

The latest information from NOAA Climate Prediction Center:

Are you ready? Download this printable El Niño preparedness checklist.

Check on current rainfall gage and streamflow data.






In case of emergency, call 911. If you’re not sure it’s an emergency, call 911 – dispatchers can direct you to the right place. Protect yourself and your family by reducing risks, such as refraining from removing fallen trees entangled with wires. Stay aware by listening to local news alerts. Be patient during road closures and other inconveniences. Stay safe.




After a disaster is a time for recovery, which can include finding food and shelter, caring for pets and seeking out emotional support. A good place to start is the Santa Cruz County 211 line, which is open 24/7 and has services available in 170 languages. They are trained to help residents find the assistance they need and connect them with community resources.

In large disasters, agencies from the state of California to FEMA to the Small Business Administration may offer assistance. The county will work to make those resources available to the public when available.

Continue to stay informed through local media outlets to learn more about power and water service restorations, road closures and openings and more.