El nino

Story by: Maggie Brown, News/Copy Editor
Photos by: Amanda Wiggins, staff photographer

el nino 1

The drought in California has been going on for nearly five years, but the West Coast has recently gotten some rain. Quite a lot of rain, actually.

El nino, which occurs every three to six years, is a change in the temperature of surface water in the Pacific that has brought unreasonably warm weather to the entire country and massive amounts of precipitation to southern and central California.

el nino 2While the rain will most certainly help put some water in California’s dusty reservoirs, it is not an end to the dry spell from which they suffer.

Meteorologists have been examining the patterns of El Nino since fall of 2014. They have observed that it began to grow steadily more intense in the beginning of 2015. The 2015-2016 El nino is one of the three strongest ever recorded, after 82-83 and 97-98, and there have been noticeably warmer temperatures all over the eastern half of the country.

In Buffalo NY, the first snowfall was the latest it had been since 1899. In addition, Hurricane Patricia, which devastated Mexico earlier this winter, was the largest storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

Many have been worried that this is due to global warming, but there is no evidence that the odd weather patterns, especially those in the US Northeast, are influenced by any singular factor.

El nino is expected to calm down by spring of this year, which will hopefully bring el nino 3milder weather in 2016. Weather prediction is a very tricky and inexact science, and so they have no real way of knowing what the weather may do in the future. It is meteorologist’s best guess, however, that this odd weather too shall pass.