Odds Increasing That El Niño Winter May Strike Again

Jennifer Hodges
October 12, 2018 - 11:36 am

Jennifer Hodges

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There's a 75 percent chance that this will be an El Niño winter, up from 50 percent six months ago, according to forecasters. But that doesn't guarantee that it will be a wet season, experts said. 

With almost half of California in drought-like conditions, many hope that  El Niño would produce plentiful rain and snowfall.

“Even during the record strength El Niño event of 2015-2016…you had a near normal Central and Northern California but you had a dry Southern California,” said Dr. David DeWitt, director of the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. 

Since 1951, seven of the 17 winters with El Niño conditions had below-normal rainfall.

DeWitt said that ocean waters are only slightly warmer than average now — an important measure for predicting the chances of El Niño — indicating that the weather can steer in either direction.

Written by Arooba Kazmi.