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Last winter, Boston lay somewhere under a mountain of snow, a record-breaking 108.6 inches, making the 2014-2015 season the all-time snowiest on record. Diagonally at the opposite end of the country, California suffered through its worst drought in history.

Yes, the weather outside is frightful, but even more to the point, it is perplexing. In 2015, Boston at Christmastime was basking in sunshine and warm temperatures, while California was enjoying the first rainstorms delivered by one of the strongest El Niño climactic changes ever recorded.

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