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El Nio Special Report

The El Nio cycle occurs roughly every 2 to 7 years. The impacts can vary greatly, from historical flooding, to extreme drought. According to the climate prediction center, this year’s forecast initially called for a weak to moderate El Nio, but things have changed. KEY News Chief Meteorologist Alan Rose reports.

According to the latest report from the Climate Prediction Center, CPC, El Niño conditions are now less likely to develop across Southern California. But, that’s not necessarily good news. “I think the thing to remember is that if we get into a weak El Niño, what we see is the extremes! like extremely wet winters or extremely dry.” Memories of years past show scenes like this.

The El Niños of 1994/1995 and 2004/2005, both lead to massive landslides in the usually sleepy town of La Conchita. And the El Niño of 1997/1998. Eric Boldt, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard says that particular El Niño event was especially strong. “I think one of the ones that will stand out in people’s minds would from 1997 and 1998. That was one of the stronger El Niño’s.

We had a lot of damage, heavy rainfall, big storms!” A strong El Niño winter often brings well above average rainfall to the southern half of the golden state. But what about weak El Niño years? “Even 2004 and 2005 was a significant rain year, where we had almost the 2nd highest rainfall total in downtown Los Angeles on record since the 1800s.” This “El Niño” phenomenon occurs because of above normal ocean temperatures in the Equatorial regions of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. It’s this warming trend that drives storms in our area. “Typical weather for us is going to be a little more stormy conditions. Maybe those storms will be a little larger than in other winters. It seems everyone has an El Niño memory of their own. “Heavy rains, rains, lightning, thunder…hardcore.” ” Wind, a lot, a lot of wind.” ” Extreme weather and winds. All the trees going wild.”

“All I remember is there were just a lot mudslides, a lot rain. It sucked to drive. It sucked to be outside!” Just days ago the El Niño watch was dropped by the CPC. But just because this year might not be the year El Niño returns, another El Niño could be on the horizon in our very near future.

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