El Nino could be strongest in modern history: US

August 13, 2015
El Nino comes with a warming in sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific
El Nino comes with a warming in sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific

The El Nino weather phenomenon that began this year could be among the strongest in 65 years, US government scientists said Thursday.

El Nino comes with a warming in sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, and can cause unusually heavy rains in some parts of the world and drought elsewhere.

This year's El Nino began in March and is forecast to last about a year. Authorities in Australia have already predicted it would be "strong" and "substantial."

That trend is still expected to continue, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center, on a conference call with reporters to discuss the US agency's latest forecast, released Thursday.

"What is new this month is we are predicting that this El Nino could be among the strongest El Ninos in the historical record dating back to 1950," said Halpert.

The reason for the forecast is the finding that three months of average in a key part of the equatorial Pacific "could potentially reach or even exceed two degrees Celsius above normal, which is 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, a value that we have only recorded three times in the last 65 years," he said.

Such temperatures were previously seen in the 1972-73 season, 1982-83 and 1997-98.

The southern United States from Florida to central California may expect higher than normal levels of precipitation, as can the US East coast as far north as New England, Halpert said.

The northern Rockies, Great Lakes, Hawaii and western Alaska may be dryer and warmer than normal, he added.

Even though forecasts of rain will be welcome in drought-ravaged California, Halpert said it would not be enough to refill the state's reservoirs.

"One season of above average rain and snow is very unlikely to erase four years of drought," he said.

The last El Nino, five years ago, had a major impact: it triggered monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the United States, heatwaves in Brazil and killer floods in Mexico.

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denglish
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 13, 2015
Here's some more info regarding the El Nino indicators, showing a comparison between what we are seeing right now, and what we have seen in past El Nino events:

https://bobtisdal...sons.png

Regarding relieving the drought, after what we saw in Texas this year it would be informative to have numbers. California needs x from the event, in order to achieve y kind of stuff.
Vietvet
4.3 / 5 (12) Aug 13, 2015
I couldn't find any numbers but I found this:

"More important, he noted, meeting the current water deficit for the state would require more than twice the average amount of precipitation for a year — "something in excess of the wettest year on record," he said."

"It has to be the right kind of precipitation, too. While a great deal of rain could recharge many of the state's reservoirs, much of the state's water supply depends on the amount of snow on the Sierras. "El Niño does have the potential to bring a whole lot of water to California." Mr. Swain said, "but it doesn't necessarily bring a lot of snow."

http://www.nytime...ary.html

denglish
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 13, 2015
Nice pull Vet.

Well, it it actually happens (thanks Blob), I think this may be a very large El Nino, or at least that's how I'm reading it. "Wettest year on record" would be a monster of a wet season.

And good point about snow being the real measure.

After seeing Texas get dumped on with "trillions of gallons", one would think its not impossible to get it all back, but then again, watch out what you wish for. :-) I remember the late-90s rains. I was working in the field at that time, and went by a swollen creek that had a fire-engine stranded in it- not exactly what ya want to see. :)
PhysicsMatter
2 / 5 (4) Aug 13, 2015
An interesting take on California drought and water crisis reality and hysteria especially in context of coming huge El Nino I found at:

https://sostratus...-desert/

Here is an excerpt:
.. roots of what's actually going on in California are much deeper than climate, arrogance, or ignorance of those in charge. It's all about malfeasance covered up by propaganda of water austerity.
leetennant
5 / 5 (4) Aug 13, 2015
What happened to "weird, weak and late", NOAA? Oh yeah, you called it too early. Meteorology fail. This where the BOM is clearly better.
antigoracle
1.4 / 5 (9) Aug 13, 2015
Oh, the humanity!
All those people heading into that hot, acidic ocean.
spencerpencer
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 14, 2015
Sweet! That means when reality sets in, it will probably end up being the absolute weakest it's ever been! Thanks, incredibly unreliable US science predictions!! :D
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 14, 2015
"Oh, the humanity! All those people heading into that hot, acidic ocean."
----------------------------------

There will be no Humanity if it gets hotter and more acidic.
antigoracle
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 14, 2015
In other news. GloBULL warming takes a vacation.
http://phys.org/n...ker.html
Benni
1.4 / 5 (11) Aug 14, 2015
An interesting take on California drought and water crisis reality and hysteria especially in context of coming huge El Nino I found at:

https://sostratus...-desert/

Here is an excerpt:
.. roots of what's actually going on in California are much deeper than climate, arrogance, or ignorance of those in charge. It's all about malfeasance covered up by propaganda of water austerity.


Yep......government agencies on the forefront of setting up "panic mentality" just to gouge the unsuspecting populace for even more tax revenue. I was out there for a visit some years back when the State took away from farmers their water resources just to protect some tiny uninteresting little minnow nobody ever cared about. Let Californians eat sand & pay $20 for a gallon of gas, they deserve what they get because they keep re-electing the same stupid people to run their lives for them.
gkam
3.7 / 5 (12) Aug 14, 2015
"Let Californians eat sand & pay $20 for a gallon of gas, "
-----------------------------

Since we grow much of the nation's food, we eat before we feed you, toots.

And we use that gas to produce the food. Guess what? Charge us what you want to pay for food.

Regarding the El Nino, . . to paraphrase The Dubya: "Bring it on!"
adam_russell_9615
5 / 5 (4) Aug 15, 2015
The nation should have a water strategy and plan.
We should build more dams to save water in rainy years so we have it for drought years - and the nation as a whole (read: feds) pay for it.

80% of Californias water goes to grow food to feed the nation. The nation therefore has a stake in making sure that California continues to have the water to grow food.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Aug 17, 2015
... the nation as a whole (read: feds) pay for it.

80% of Californias water goes to grow food to feed the nation.
Errr, of more importance, how much of California's produce feeds the nation, and how much of what everyone eats is that? This statement is an invitation to misinterpretation. Caveat emptor.

The nation therefore has a stake in making sure that California continues to have the water to grow food.
Well, how much of a stake hasn't been shown yet, and how much we should spend on it depends on that. So let's see some figures.

Hey, I live in California myself. I just want our due. Not anything extra.
Osiris1
5 / 5 (4) Aug 17, 2015
I live in the Golden State of California, and those Cali haters better not do it when their mouths are full of California vegetables, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, apples, lettuce, raisins, grapes, good angus beef, good quality dairy products, California wines...the list is endless. You want to overcharge us for gasoline. Well it takes gas to fuel tractors, etc to raise crops to feed YOU! So go ahead and keep it up. We are businessmen with a bottom line to and we WILL pass those costs along to YOU! No other place produces what we do in the quantity that we do and the quality that we maintain, so it is not like we can be dismissed. We ARE the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Aug 17, 2015
Hmmm, I prefer not to mock the customers. Especially when the water's likely to rise later.
AGreatWhopper
1 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2015
Conservatives are doing this as well. It's time to stop feeding the trolls or admit you really don't give a damn about what you're preaching. http://www.thegua...-savchuk

Boycott all comments until trolls posting cut and paste spam are deleted. I don't have a lot of hope, though, given the level of hypocrisy the liberals show here.
denglish
1 / 5 (3) Aug 18, 2015
Conservatives are doing this as well. It's time to stop feeding the trolls or admit you really don't give a damn about what you're preaching. http://www.thegua...-savchuk

Boycott all comments until trolls posting cut and paste spam are deleted. I don't have a lot of hope, though, given the level of hypocrisy the liberals show here.

LOL. This person is dropping the same thing in every thread.

From The Guardian, too! oh man, golden comedy.
gkam
3 / 5 (4) Aug 18, 2015
We can use the water in the West for hydro and life. We may even be able to send some food "back East".

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