Wondering why it will NOT stop raining in the middle of winter? Say hello to El Nino, a weather event that is capable of producing tons of rain — and has definitely done so in some parts of the United States already. Get five fast facts about this winter storm below!
California is in the middle of being absolutely doused by rain as the new year begins, which has locals and Americans alike wondering what the heck is up with this crazy weather. The answer? El Nino, a weather occurrence that happens when the water close to the equator and the Pacific Ocean is a little warmer than usual and results in some intense forecasts. As Californians pull out their ponchos, read up on this year’s El Nino here!
1. El Nino isn’t the name for this specific storm.
Every time El Nino occurs, it is always referred to as such. The term for the meteorological event is Spanish for “the boy” or “Christ child” — not “the Nino” as Chris Farley fans might think — and was first coined by Peruvian sailors when they noticed unseasonably warm weather around Christmastime, according to NBC News.
2. The storm ties the record for strongest El Nino ever.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in the first week of 2016 that this El Nino has officially reached the same strength as the one in 1997-1998. From October to December 2015, The Weather Channel reported water temperatures were measuring at 2.3 degrees Celsius above average, which ties the record set nearly nine years ago.
3. It apparently won’t be getting any worse.
In December, NASA’s predictions showed that this El Nino would only become more powerful in 2016, but luckily the NOAA is saying that the storm has peaked as of Jan. 5. Unfortunately that does not mean that the affected areas will be seeing it die down — California and the rest of the United States is likely going to be impacted in the next several weeks, maybe even months. In fact, California could be getting 15 inches of rain in the next 16 days!
4. El Nino contributed to the US’ freakishly warm Christmas weather.
Remember when Santa needed sunglasses instead of a snowsuit in some parts of the country because temperatures peaked in the 70s? Just when you wanted to put all the blame on global warming, El Nino played a part too. They somewhat work hand in hand, so you can thank El Nino for your non-white Christmas. El Nino was also partly responsible for the deadly Christmas tornadoes and storms that occurred in the South and Midwest.
5. This El Nino event has been predicted since December 2014.
Conditions were first detected when the Japan Meteorological Agency noticed the onset of El Nino occurrences, as sea surface temperatures measured over the Pacific appeared to be warmer than normal. We bet they didn’t expect a record-tying storm strength, though!
HollywoodLifers, have you been affected by this year’s El Nino? Tell us about your experience below!