The Official Report via. NOAA
“El Niño has arrived! The NWS Climate Prediction Center issued an El Niño Advisory today, noting El Niño conditions were observed during February. Forecasters say it is a weak El Niño and predict it will stay weak at least through spring. Due to its weak strength it will have little influence on weather and climate in the United States. It is likely too late and too weak to provide much relief for drought-stricken California.”
What is El Niño?
El Niño is an ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, which occur on average every 2-7 years and last about 9-18 months. The presence of El Niño can significantly influence global weather, climate and ocean conditions, as well as marine fisheries.
The official definition of “El Nino” conditions, per the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, is when “A one-month positive sea surface temperature anomaly of 0.5C or greater is observed in the Nino-3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (5N-5S, 120W-170W) and an expectation that the 3-month Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) threshold will be met.“ In addition, the official definition also states that, “An atmospheric response typically associated with El Nino is observed over the equatorial Pacific Ocean.”
What does that mean? And what can we expect to see at LA County Beaches?
According to Surfline.com,
“A repeat of the epic 1982-83, (picture below) 1997-98, or even the more recent, moderate strength 2009-10 El Niño years appears unlikely at this time. Instead, the CPC is predicting a 50-60% chance that El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2015, and is expected to be a weak event.”