The current El Nino has yet to pack a punch – and isn’t responsible for some of the strange weather already being seen in the United States.
Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are still predicting with near certainty that this El Nino will last through the winter and will be the strongest since the 1997-98 El Nino and possibly the third strongest since 1950. The 1997-98 event sparked widespread storms and flooding that caused more than $4 billion in damage and killed 189 people nationwide.
El Niño – meaning in Spanish “the little boy, or Christ child” – is created when the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean warm significantly.
They are also forecasting wetter than average conditions out West from January to March and above average temperatures in the northern half of the contiguous U.S., Alaska and much of Hawaii. Below-average temperatures, meanwhile, are most likely in the southern Plains while much of the South will see wetter than average.