Summary of Article: The drought in California began a couple of years ago. It was caused by a mass of warm water in the Pacific ocean that has drifted closer to the west coast recently. La Niña probably started the drought cycle in 2011 by creating a high pressure system just off of the West Coast, but close to California. The high-pressure system interfered with storm tracks and wind flow, which caused storms that would have hit California to change course and bring precipitation to other places. This high pressure system also rerouted cold air away from it's position over the Pacific, which prevented the atmosphere from removing the usual amount of heat from the ocean, which added to this mass of warm water. Another factor that is influencing the drought is the type of precipitation. In California, snow is better than rain for drought relief. California is dependent upon the buildup of a snowpack in the winter to melt into runoff in the spring for the state’s water supply. Unfortunately, the warm water mass, which is between two to seven degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal water in this part of the ocean, heats the atmosphere above it, making rain more likely than snow. During this drought, California has had record high temperatures and of course record low snowpack depths.