El Niño Update: Bigger than first expected
According to research from the various organizations measuring the climate and oceans, the Sea Surface Temperature in the prime area for the development of El Niño conditions, the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, has risen to 85.5°f (29.5°c), the highest temperature ever recorded. It’s about five degrees above normal.
Experts aren’t predicting it will be the most powerful El Niño ever, but it has the potential to surpass all previous El Niño’s on record. Experts are sure it will be one of the top three since 1950.
A report issued by the National Weather Service and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society says:
El Niño has already produced significant global impacts. El Niño is expected to affect temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States during the upcoming months (the 3-month seasonal outlook will be updated on Thursday November 19th). Seasonal outlooks generally favor below-average temperatures and above-median precipitation across the southern tier of the United States, and above-average temperatures and below-median precipitation over the northern tier of the United States.
Some of the those global impacts we have experienced so far: Much more intense typhoon and hurricane season in the Northern Pacific Ocean region and severe droughts and wildfires in southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, which has had smog-creating fires.
Although the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring climate event, the impact of human-induced climate change has had, and continues to have, an impact on this El Niño. The Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel Jarraud told USA Today, “So this naturally occurring El Niño event and human induced climate change may interact and modify each other in ways which we have never before experienced.”
In other words: this could be an El Niño unlike any we have experienced in the past. The one experienced 15 years ago was very severe, so it begs the question: how much more severe will it get this winter?
Localities in Southern California have begun cleaning storm drainage and residents and business owners have already begun piling up sandbags around their homes and businesses. You can get sandbags at most fire stations in the coastal areas. If you live or own a business in an area that has been prone to flooding or mudslides, it is time to start preparations.
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