El Nino Heat Map

This map shows the change in ocean water temperature above or below normal in Celsius. The warming ocean temperatures along the equator indicate the strengthening El Niño weather pattern, which if it persists and is strong through the winter, could help bring storms to California during its rainy season. (National Weather Service)

By Rong-Gong Lin II
June 11, 2015

  • Good news for California: El Niño is showing some staying power

Will California get a wet winter and maybe a little drought relief? Scientists are beginning to think so.

A new forecast seems to suggest that El Niño could start showing some strength in the fall.

That could be good news down the road for California’s rainy season, according to the latest report from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

Now, it’s beginning to look unlikely that El Niño will weaken or disappear.

It’s “evolving nicely,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. “Should we see a really strong event, that tilts the odds toward a wetter winter for you guys” in California.

The next few months will tell, he said, “whether this takes a life of its own … or this backs away a little bit.”

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