Recent studies have uncovered the predictability of hydrological conditions on Earth, based on an analysis of long-term precipitation data in California and analogous orbital forcings during different years that are separated by Saros cycles. With similar orbital geometries of the Earth and Moon, water years 1976 and 1994, which are one and two Saros cycles apart from water year 2012, respectively, were both Critically Dry years in California, according to the California Department of Water Resources’ water year type classification. Further analysis of precipitation data at a cross section of gauging stations across the U.S. during water years 1976 and 1994 reinforces the previously observed association between analogous orbital forcings and hydrological conditions on earth. The current work is a validation of predicted meteorological drought in California during water year 2012 using: (1) real-time precipitation data collected from a cross section of gauging stations across California, and (2) estimated full natural flows of eight major rivers in California. The data for these years were analyzed and found to have a high level of correlation. The results of the current work provide a significant mark in the validation exercises of the recent novel finding of the predictability of earth's meteorological and hydrological variability. Continued studies and mapping of observed hydrological conditions globally in the coming years using this approach will be highly valuable for sustainable water resources engineering and various other applications. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.