Wednesday September 27, 2023

The Washington Post

A fast-forming and strengthening El Niño climate pattern could peak this winter as one of the most intense ever observed, according to an experimental forecast released Tuesday. The new prediction system suggested it could reach top-tier “super” El Niño strength, a level that in the past has unleashed deadly fires, drought, heat waves, floods and mudslides around the world.

This time, El Niño is developing alongside an unprecedented surge in global temperatures that scientists say have increased the likelihood of brutal heat waves and deadly floods of the kind seen in recent weeks.

Will that make El Niño’s typical extremes even more dramatic in the winter?

“My answer would be — maybe,” said David DeWitt, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.

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