Feb 17, 2016

El Niño's drenching rains, heavy snow take February hiatus in California

California
USA
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USA TODAY
A cyclist rides along recently installed temporary flood control walls along the L.A. River in Los Angeles Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. Ten days with record heat and no rain have Californians worrying about the drought again. Photo: Damian Dovarganes, AP
A cyclist rides along recently installed temporary flood control walls along the L.A. River in Los Angeles Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. Ten days with record heat and no rain have Californians worrying about the drought again. Photo: Damian Dovarganes, AP

The drenching rains and heavy snow from El Niño that forecasters predicted would put a dent in California’s lengthy drought are taking a hiatus this month.

A rather welcome, soggy January turned into a hot and dry February, raising doubts the climate pattern can deliver a much-needed respite to California’s now 5-year-old drought. The Department of Agriculture and Stanford University found the extreme dryness killed 29 million trees and left another 29 million at risk.