El Niño is here, get ready

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El Niño is here and is “… already strong and appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98, the strongest El Niño on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization.”

So says a report by NASA, recently posted on their website.

The space agency has 19 earth-orbiting satellites that are observing this climate phenomenon. Along with super computers this data is then used to predict what will happen around the world as a result of this short-tem climate anomaly.

Climatologists are now warning California residents to get their homes ready of El Niño because this is going to be big — very big. Here in the Golden State we will get unprecedented rainfall, accompanied by massive flooding and mudslides.

It was just about a month ago when heavy rains just north of Los Angeles triggered a mudslide that closed the I-5, stranding motorists caught in the flash flooding and mud. With this El Niño we could get more of the same.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says this will be the strongest El Niño in 18 years. It is still growing in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and it will eventually raise the surface temperature of the ocean a few degrees. That will disrupt weather patterns on both sides of the ocean — the western Pacific region will have unprecedented dry spells and on this side of the Pacific, we can expect torrential rains throughout the winter.

In October Mission Blvd in the community of Pacific Beach, San Diego, had water collecting several inches deep in some locations.
In October Mission Blvd in the community of Pacific Beach, San Diego, had water collecting several inches deep in some locations.

All the agencies studying El Niño said the system will continue to strengthen through January and possibly February, but it should begin to fade by March 2016.

The Los Angeles area should remain dry this coming week, but San Diego County and parts of Orange County are likely to see rain Sunday and possibly Monday.

Some residents in in Southern California have already started putting sandbags up around their properties and the City of San Diego is cleaning out nearly 900 miles of storm drains. Downed trees, discarded construction debris and junk has been found in the drains, the things that could clog up the drains and exacerbate flooding. Shop owners and residents at the beaches know that with every storm coming our way this winter there will be the potential of flooding, even with the slightest of storm surges.

We will experience the most rain from mid to late December through February 2016.

El Niño is here — get ready.