Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Is California ready for El Niño?

William Hudnell rides his bike through the water on Lindberg Lane in Petaluma, Calif., after heavy rains caused flooding on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.
William Hudnell rides his bike through the water on Lindberg Lane in Petaluma, Calif., after heavy rains caused flooding on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. AP

Will it end the drought? Will floods and mudslides deluge the south state? What about the snowpack?

Everyone’s an amateur meteorologist these days, wondering how a likely strong El Niño will write the latest chapter in California’s annals of crazy weather. It seems strange we’re shifting from coping with the drought to preparing for floods, but that’s the premise of a Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee hearing in Van Nuys today.

After a brief primer on what El Niño is, exactly, from Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist William Patzert will come some flood management information from officials representing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Water Resources and the city and county of Los Angeles. Things get started at 10 a.m., and if you can’t be in Van Nuys you can watch a livestream here.

THROUGH THE ROOF: As the fight over the future of rooftop solar continues to crackle, a California Public Utilities Commission hearing discussing incentives for self-generation will draw some San Diego heavyweights. Electoral rivals Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, will attend a PUC meeting at which San Diego Gas & Electric officials will delve into thorny questions about how home solar energy pencils out.

ALMOST FAMOUS: Sacramento gets to emulate Hollywood for a night, rolling out the red carpet and welcoming some celebrities for the ninth California Hall of Fame class induction. Gov. Jerry Brown, Anne Gust Brown and Secretary of State Alex Padilla will be overseeing the ceremonies at the California Museum. You can check out a list of inductees here.

SOME THINGS: You may think you have too many connected devices, but this could just be the beginning: the Internet of Things promises a world in which basic consumer products can sense and communicate. The Assembly Select Committee on Emerging Technologies will dig into what that could look like, drawing on a range of scientists and researchers who will examine how the shift could affect consumers, businesses and policy.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who marks half a century today.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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