Monday November 27, 2023

ABC 10

The latest update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows eastern tropical Pacific Ocean water is at a strong El Niño status. The peak of these conditions is likely to hit December through February of next year.

The impacts from the warming water is already unfolding in places like Australia with drier than normal conditions and wildfires. How this global weather pattern will impact California is yet to be seen, especially with the wettest time of year about to hit.

Jan Null, an adjunct professor at San Jose University, says the headlines can be deceiving since many people might think El Niño is a storm. He says even though this warming equatorial water is 3000 miles away, it can influence storms, but is not the storm itself. 

The latest readings show ocean temperatures have warmed to a place we’ve only seen three other times in the last 70 years. Some of those years, like the winters of 1982-83 and 1997-98, are what many people remember El Niño looking like when catastrophic flooding ravaged the state.

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