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El Niño still expected to be a “Whopper!”

New Point Loma Lighthouse

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report released today predicts a >95% chance that El Niño will last through the winter and into the spring and pack above average rain and temperatures! According to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center, the conditions of extraordinarily warm waters of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean and weak trade winds that that typically push balmy seas away from the Americas suggest an El Niño on par with the giants in 1997-98 and 1982-83! According to

In the past, strong El Niños have correlated with above-average rain in the southern United States, with Southern California often a landing pad for major storms and floods. Northern California has historically been less affected by El Niño, though the stronger the system, the higher the chances of rain.

During the 1997-98 winter, San Francisco saw a whopping 47 inches of rain, more than double the average.

Today’s El Niño forecast matches last month’s predictions which also offered a 95 percent chance that the weather system would be strong and last through California’s wet season.

The Feds warn that the weather pattern is NOT a guarantee of wet weather and that, even if the winter is wet, California would need roughly 2½ times its average rainfall, depending on the area, to remedy its drought deficit. (Image above is the New Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego, California).

-Bill at

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