Vibrant satellite photos show greenest September in years after Tropical Storm Hilary

San Luis Resevoir, CA - April 16: . A series of heavy rainstorms this winter has replenished the San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos. The reservoir stores water from the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. It is a key water supply for millions of Californians from Silicon Valley to San Diego, and has risen 144 feet since 2022 . It is presently almost at full capacity. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A series of heavy rainstorms this winter has replenished San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos. Rainfall from Tropical Storm Hilary has helped turn parts of California lush and green. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

It's been a green September, thanks to an unusually wet August brought on by Tropical Storm Hilary.

But don't put away your raincoats yet because there's reason to believe the upcoming winter will be just as wet as the last.

With a potentially strong El Niño forecast for Southern California, the state is already noticeably green.

New photos from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration show the striking change.

Read more: El Niño is getting stronger, and odds are tilting toward another wet winter for California

On Aug. 20, Tropical Storm Hilary brought us the "wettest August day on record," according to NASA's Earth Observatory, with downtown Los Angeles getting 2.5 inches of rain and San Diego 1.8 inches.

Though August is typically dry in Southern California, "the surface layers of soil can respond quickly to weather events," NASA said.

Scientists at NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT) predicted that soils could be saturated for days after the abnormal weather event.

The photos below show the same view of Southern California from similar days in September in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Satellite photo from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shows Southern California on Sept. 21, 2021

Wildfires are visible in 2021, as well as a dried-out landscape. By 2022, though the fires are absent, the terrain is still mostly brown.

But this year, green patches abound, from the Central Valley down through the L.A. Basin and along the coast.

Hilary brought flooding to Southern California, especially in the Coachella Valley. But after the devastation, the state is greener than it has been at this time of year in recent memory.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.