Ocean conditions in the Pacific Ocean are increasingly suggestive of a potent El Niño event later this year. While that might seem like good news to the water-starved regions of the United States, the resulting torrential rains could be exceptionally hazardous.
Back in March of this year, scientists declared that El Niño conditions had emerged in the Pacific Ocean. Initially, it was thought that the event was too weak and too late to be of any significance, but conditions have changed over the past several months. According to NASA and other agencies, surface waters are getting warmer in the central and eastern Pacific, while conditions to the west are getting drier and cooler. What’s more, these conditions bear a striking resemblance to the substantial El Niño event of 1997-98.