Currents of Change: What Is El Nino | NBC Southern California
El Niño in Southern California

El Niño in Southern California

Coverage of the weather phenomenon and what it means for Southern California

Currents of Change: What Is El Nino

The current El Nino weather patern is even stronger that it was during 1997, when floods and mudslides caused destruction

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Monday, Oct. 26, 2015)

    El Nino is a warming of the water off the Pacific coast of South America that greatly influences weather patterns around the globe.

    It is categorized by strength, ranging from weak to very strong. The current El Nino weather patern is even stronger that it was during 1997, when floods and mudslides caused destruction in California.

    That means California could see some of its strongeset storms in decades.

    What To Know

    • El Nino is an area of warmer-than-normal ocean water...in the eastern Pacific near the equator...centered near the coast of Peru.
    • This area of warm ocean water changes the weather patterns above the ocean, specifically, the jetstream.
    • During El Nino, the subtropical jetstream delivers warmer, wetter storms that can hold up to twice as much rainfall as normal.
    • This heavy rain tends to fall during peak rainfall times in Southern California, typically January, February, and March and can lead to flooding and mudslides.
    • El Nino is a naturally occurring phenomenon that returns every five to seven years. It's not whether it's coming, this time! It's already here.

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