According to Earthsky, on Wednesday, an El Nino tropical storm condition is on its way. Earlier this year, according to the article, the climatologists thought the system was “too weak and too late to have much effect on North America.”
They’ve changed their minds. Quoted in the article is Bill Patzert at NASA-JPL saying, “We have not seen a signal like this…since 1997….What happens in August through October should make or break this event.” We can see the comparison in the above chart between the 1997 El Nino on the Left and the current conditions on the right. The brown areas on the maps are the El Nino systems.
Patzert goes on to caution that El Nino will not help with the drought. He notes that our water delivery system in California is dependent on the Sierra Nevada snow pack. That is my opinion as well. The El Nino storms, because they consist of rain, and fall in the coastal regions, mostly wash back out to sea.
Meanwhile, it’s drizzling outside my window in the Los Angeles area, so if nothing else, our bushes and trees will be happy and maybe even our lawns will come back to life. When I was growing up, it almost never rained in the summer in the Los Angeles area. But, if we get heavy rains this fall, the mudslides in the mountains and the canyons will surely follow.
Image Credit: NASA via Earthsky