El Niño Is Back, and Getting Stronger | NBC Southern California

El Niño Is Back, and Getting Stronger

Dramatic weather changes could be on the way

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    When the weather starts changing, you can blame it on El Niño.

    It is one the most powerful forces driving global weather, and it is expected to strengthen and last through the winter, according to the Climate Prediction Center at the National Weather Service.
     
    The El Niño weather phenomenon is caused by a warming current in the Pacific Ocean. El Niño occurs every two to five years, on average.
     
    So what does that mean for weather across the United States this winter? A wet El Niño season has the potential to cause flooding and dangerous debris flows from mountain areas in Southern California scorched by recent wildfires. However, it’s still not exactly clear what kind of winter season Southern California will experience.
     
    Other expected El Niño impacts this winter include above-average precipitation along the Gulf Coast, from Texas to Florida, according to the Climate Prediction Center. It could also mean below-average rain and snow for the Pacific Northwest.
     
    As for the Northern Plains, there could be less snow. In the Atlantic, El Niño could mean less hurricanes.