A mysterious ‘warm blob’ of water off the West coast of the US could explain why states like California are experiencing their worst ever drought, while the East is battered by freezing weather.
The blob in the ocean was discovered last year, with temperatures one to four degrees Celsius (two to seven degrees Fahrenheit) above surrounding ‘normal’ water.
And the blob has now extended about 1,000 miles (1,600km) offshore, from Mexico up to Alaska, and could herald a warmer summer for some regions.
A new study by the University of Washington found that a high-pressure ridge could be causing the blob, by trapping heat in the water.
In June of last year, the huge patch of water stretched 1,000 miles (1,600km) in each direction, and was 300ft (90 metres) deep.
Dr Nick Bond, a climate scientist at the University of Washington, coined the term ‘the blob’ in June.