California gearing up for strong El Niño

The Golden State could be in for another very wet winter, this time fueled by El Niño

Meteorologists are predicting strong El Niño conditions this winter, with widespread precipitation expected to hit the California coast as early as next month and continuing into spring.

El Niño is a phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon in which trade winds weaken and warm Pacific Ocean water moves towards the Americas.


The big picture: The current El Niño event is expected to intensify and potentially become a very strong or “super” El Niño event within the next couple of months.

  • While most seasonal models indicate a wetter-than-average winter in California, European forecasts suggest a weaker likelihood of such conditions.
  • The California Office of Emergency Services has issued warnings to Southern Californians to prepare for potential winter weather. 
  • California is entering the season without a moisture deficit, with the state being entirely drought-free as of early November.
  • A strong El Niño could result in increased high-tide flooding in western coastal cities, potentially causing road floods and affecting low-lying buildings.
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