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US meteorologists: El Nino ties record for strongest seen

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Washington   /   Wed, January 6, 2016   /  07:00 am
US meteorologists: El Nino ties record for strongest seen People make their way across a wet street near Union Square Tuesday,in San Francisco. El Nino storms lined up in the Pacific, promising to drench parts of the West for more than two weeks and increasing fears of mudslides and flash floods in regions stripped bare by wildfires. Stronger systems are predicted starting Tuesday following light rain a day earlier. At least two more storms are expected to follow on Wednesday and Thursday, possibly bringing as much as 3 inches of rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

People make their way across a wet street near Union Square Tuesday,in San Francisco. El Nino storms lined up in the Pacific, promising to drench parts of the West for more than two weeks and increasing fears of mudslides and flash floods in regions stripped bare by wildfires. Stronger systems are predicted starting Tuesday following light rain a day earlier. At least two more storms are expected to follow on Wednesday and Thursday, possibly bringing as much as 3 inches of rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

US meteorologists say the current El Nino has stormed its way into the record books, tying 1997-1998 as the strongest recorded.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of the federal Climate Prediction Center, said initial figures for October-November-December match the same time period in 1997 for the strongest El Nino. Meteorologists measure El Nino based on how warm parts of the central Pacific for three consecutive months. Records go back to 1950.

El Nino is the natural warming of the central Pacific that changes weather worldwide, including bringing more rain to California.

Halpert said what really matters is what El Nino does during January, when its impact peaks.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said "Darth Nino may finally have California in its sights," as a series of storms may dent record drought. (bbn)