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Godzilla El Niño Rains Haven't Forgotten Us, They're Just Running Late
When climatologists warned of a 'Godzilla El Niño last fall, fancy-looking charts and animated maps led us to believe that by now, Los Angeles would practically have been swept away into the Pacific Ocean. But it's mid-February, very hot, and very dry. Not exactly what we were expecting, especially compared to past El Niños. However, weather experts are saying don't be fooled into thinking El Niño has forsaken us; it's coming, they swear! It's just late to the party, and some say it could be even bigger than originally anticipated.Ken Clark, a meteorologist with Accuweather.com told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that, "No, it hasn't gone away. It is still as strong as it ever was."
This year's El Niño appears to be conforming to the adage, "March goes in like a lion, and comes out like a lamb." Although, maybe it will go out like a lion, too.
Climatologists expect "a conveyor belt" of storms to hit Southern California by March, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. These storms could possibly hit the region going into April, too—about a month later than heavy rains were originally predicted.
"The ball game is not over yet. We do have a lot of innings left in the game," John Gottschalck, of the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center told the SGV Tribune. "We still have March."
quote machine El Niño expert and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Bill Patzert said, "It is not unusual for El Niños, with regards to Southern California rain, to be slow starters...When they hook up, they are fast and furious finishers."
When they hook up, they are fast and furious finishers. Bless you, Bill Patzert.
Patzert also told the Union Tribune that just because we haven't seen destructive, intense rain in SoCal doesn't mean this El Niño hasn't impacted other parts of the state. Heavy rain storms are just one facet of the weather phenomenon—a facet that's easier to sensationalize than the decidedly unsexy notion of "heavy snow pack."
This El Nino is a failure only to Southern California journalists because they want to report on flooding in Mission Valley...The local news channels are irritated because they don’t have mudslides to report on. Don’t tell anyone in Northern and Central California that there hasn’t been a strong El Nino. They’ve been getting some real nice snow in the Sierras. That’s the best thing for San Diego and LA. The northern reservoirs are getting the water.
But according to Weather.com, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s latest forecast says that El Niño will weaken through the spring, and perhaps transition into a La Niña fall, which would mean colder ocean temperatures and drier conditions for California.