El Nino Expected To Be The Strongest In A Half Century

Meteorologists are anxiously keeping an eye on a potentially historic El Nino. Weather experts are even stating that the El Nino that is coming has the potential to rival the incredibly strong El Nino that hit in 1997 to 1998. AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson talks about El Nino.

“El Nino has steadily strengthened over the past month and is now approaching strong category strength. Confidence continues to grow that this El Niño will be one of the stronger El Niños over the past 50 years. El Niño typically reaches its peak during the December through February period. The strongest El Niño on record since the beginning of the 20th century occurred during 1997-98.”

California is eagerly looking at the El Nino forecast. California is in the midst of a drought that has made the government install some of the most restrictive rules in regards to water usage. No matter how big this El Nino is, weather experts state that it will not be enough to erase the drought conditions in California. Daniel Swain, a Stanford University doctoral student commented on what Californians can expect to see this winter.

“What is pretty likely, if we do get a strong event, is a lot of Southern California will probably see a wet winter. Not necessarily an epically wet winter, but a winter that will seem especially wet because so many dry years have preceded it.”

A weather event called a strong and positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation could keep California from experiencing an El Nino that would be stronger than the one that occurred in 1997 to 1998. A PDO refers to a weather event in which abnormally warm waters are sitting off the coast of California. Meteorologist Ben Noll explains how this weather phenomenon could impact California.

“We really have yet to see such a strong forecasted El Niño paired with such a strong PDO. The PDO could promote a ridge of high pressure over the West, especially the Northwest, for extended periods of time during the winter.”

As for the rest of the country, the Great Plains and Midwest will see temperatures this winter that are above average. The last couple of winters in these areas have seen record-breaking cold. A warmer winter will be a much-needed break from the normal arctic temperatures that occur.

What are your thoughts on the expected El Nino? Do you think meteorologists are blowing the El Nino forecast out of proportion?

[Image via Guardianlv.com]