El Nino has arrived and could be ginormous


Read this and hope, California. “A majority of the global atmosphere ocean models are currently suggesting the potential for an [El Nino] event rivaling the strongest event in the historical record.” Whoa. This could mean deluges of rain will be coming in the Fall and Winter. Yes, sometimes the models are wrong and sometimes El Nino fizzles out, so let’s not get giddy quite yet. However, lots of hard data is coming in indicating warm water areas in the Pacific have moved and are now providing the engine for El Nino. In fact, the West Coast already is in a weak El Nino, and it’s building strength.

I grew up in New England where thunderstorms are common. They roll in, they roll out. No biggie. El Ninos are different from that. I experienced them while living in Los Angeles. Storms line up in the Pacific heading for California and when they hit shore, dump prodigious amounts of rain. Such conditions are also conducive to storms being sucked in from the Gulf of Mexico by hot air rising from deserts in Nevada and Arizona. This would be a very good thing indeed, especially since I live in Vegas.

But first California and the southwest need to get past the coming summer of drought. Fire danger will be extremely high in California, (not so much in Vegas because in desert areas outside cities, there just isn’t much that can burn.) But the Santa Monica mountains in Los Angeles will have tinder-dry brush along the trails, which is often well above the heads of hikers. Fires there are scary. (And I’ve seen a few of those too.) You can’t outrun them, they move way too fast for that.

So, all California and the Southwest need to do is get past summer without drying up or burning up, and hope that the Mother of all El Ninos is coming.

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