El Ninon has finally arrived in California, but it’s not likely to be enough to fix the deep drought problem infecting the state.
El Nino has been deemed by scientists to be too little, too late to provide much relief to the state with the rainy season winding down, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that the El Nino phase — cyclical oscillation of sea water temperatures as well as atmosphere pressure, which occurs in the tropical Pacific — was simply too weak to have an effect, and the drought problems in California are just too entrenched.
El Nino has sent moist air to Southern California in the past, although some question just how much the weather phenomenon had an impact.
There was an increase in storms in December and January along the Pacific Coast, but they weren’t cold enough to create the snowfall necessary to increase the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, which is a primary source of water for California.
However, there is some reason for hope: scientists believe that there is a 50 to 60 percent chance that El Nino will persist into the summer and influence the next rainy season. However, it appears to be definitely too late to help this year, Halpert said.
Strong El Ninos can bring lots of rain to Mexico and the southern United States, and can even extend to the Midwest and all the way up to New England.
El Nino is the name for the warm phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation, which is when a band of warm ocean water develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. It is usually accompanied by high air pressure in the western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern Pacific. Its cool phase is known as La Nina.