El Niño can have major implications for weather patterns across the globe. On Thursday morning, NOAA announced on 14 February that El Niño is here and issued an El Niño Advisory.
“El Niño conditions across the equatorial Pacific have come together, and we can now announce its arrival,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, and ENSO forecaster.
NOAA gives a 55% chance of El Niño conditions persisting through the spring.
Sea surface temperatures in January — orange-red colors are above normal.
“While sea surface temperatures are above average, current observations and climate models indicate that this El Niño will be weak, meaning we do not expect significant global impacts through the remainder of winter and into the spring,” Halpert said.
However, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said there is still a chance “the impacts often associated with El Niño may occur in some locations during the next few months.”
During El Niño years, more rain falls in the Southwestern and Southeastern United States, while the North experiences much drier and warmer weather.
NOAA also said the current rainfall in California is not due to an El Niño, although that kind of weather is a typical symptom. But NOAA said another weather pattern, the Madden Julian Oscillation, is more likely responsible for the enhanced rainfall along the West Coast.Forecasters say even a small El Nino can magnify weather events.