El Niño Update

February 23, 2010

California has seen a fair amount of swell this winter season thanks to the warmer waters to the south from the weather pattern known as El Niño.  Much of the state has been drenched in rain but the plus side is the surf.  *An El Niño advisory continues from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC). A significant El Niño persisted throughout the equatorial Pacific during January 2010. Although sea surface temperatures cooled in late January, the waters were warm enough to support deep tropical convection. Southern California has seen a marked increase in precipitation during January. The series of storms in mid-January led to flooding, mudslides and coastal damage. While water managers welcome the rain and snowfall throughout the state, it is hoped the progression and intensity of the systems expected to come will allow for some rest between wet periods. The graphics below show January sea surface temperature anomalies for previous strong El Niños and the 2009/2010 El Niño.     *http://meteora.ucsd.edu/cap/elnino_calif.html