Video: This Year's El Nino Looks Like 1997's Monster El Niño
A new video reveals that the El Niño currently developing over the Pacific looks startlingly similar to the massive one from 1997.
Created by the visualization lab at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research—a consortium of over 100 universities—the video shows a side-by-side comparison of the sea surface temperatures of the two systems, reports LA Observed. While there are also differences noted between the two, the researchers point out that the similarities in temperatures are a significant part of gauging the strength of an El Niño.
Seeing the two visualizations next to each other, the researchers seem to think that the El Niño system currently brewing—which some have dubbed Godzilla El Niño—could become warmer than the 1997 one and become one of the strongest weather phenomenon in recorded history. In the UCAR blog post sharing the video, visualization creator Matt Rehme admits, "I was a little shocked just how closely 2015 resembles 1997 visually."
While the video does show similarities, the UCAR blog post also points out that it is still too early to tell if the current El Niño will live up to the hype. There are also no guarantees that this one will have the same impact on global weather as the last one, even if it does prove to be the strongest. And while there are hopes that the current one could help relieve California's drought, the rainy weather that it might bring could potentially bring other problems, including flooding and dangerous mudslides, not to mention more tiny red crabs.