“There’s no longer a possibility that El Niño wimps out at this point. It’s too big to fail,” said Bill Patzert, climatologist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge,Los Angeles Times reported. “And the winter over North America is definitely not going to be normal.”
Patzert said satellite images of the Pacific Ocean showing the height of seawater -- a reflection of how warm the water is -- show an enormous area at a higher temperature, an area of the ocean that is larger than it was at this time in 1997.
It is so big, Patzert said, that even if ocean temperatures were to start dropping now, El Niño would still have a significant impact on this winter’s rains.
Patzert said Southern California and the rest of the southern U.S., all the way to Florida, can expect a very wet winter, while it should be relatively mild in the upper part of the United States, including New England.
In 1998, El Niño rains started in Los Angeles County in January, and were the worst across the region in February. Downtown L.A. got about a year’s worth of rain in February alone.