NASA climatologist Bill Patzert doesn’t mince words. He already described this winter’s El Niño as “too big to fail” and now he’s given us a very good description of what to expect from it: “Mudslides, heavy rainfall, one storm after another like a conveyor belt.”


The Monster Godzilla Bruce Lee Chris Farley El Niño will kick into high gear starting in January 2016, with effects felt until March. Here’s the big important warning from Patzert that you should heed:

“January and February are just around the corner. If you think you should make preparations, get off the couch and do it now. These storms are imminent. El Niño is here. And it is huge.”



So what exactly do conveyor belt storms look like? NOAA provided some predictions when it comes to just how much rain will be arriving.

More rain is the likely reality for most of the country

If you got really overexcited like me and thought that chart said 60 to 69 feet of rain, let’s reign in our expectations just a bit. This is only the chance of above normal precipitation. So the chance of above normal rain for LA will be 60 to 69%. But what’s important to note is that it’s not just the West Coast that will see statistically higher amounts of rainfall—about half the country has a 40% or more chance of more rain. And Florida could get walloped.

Just for fun, here’s the temperature predictions for this winter, too

NOAA released some other interesting information on how one continent’s conveyor belt will impact the rest of the world beyond the US. El Niño will bring heavy rains to East Africa and drier conditions to Southern Africa, and it’s already to blame for the horrific fires in Indonesia. (The last time Indonesia had so many fires? Yep, the El Niño of 1997.) When it comes to the way it’s affecting ocean health, the trouble is nearly global:


Also, all the extra warm waters associated with this El Niño are placing heat stress on sea life, and an intense coral bleaching event is underway.

So basically? No one is safe from El Niño.



[LA Times, NOAA]

Follow the author at @awalkerinLA

AP Photo/Adam Turner