The Strongest El Niño On Record May Be Brewing In The Pacific

Mashable. 9 July 2015.

Sstanomthumb2
Sea surface temperature anomalies showing the telltale sign of an El Nino in the tropical Pacific.
Image: WeatherBELL Analytics
El Niño conditions are intensifying in the tropical Pacific Ocean, potentially leading to a record event that would help control rainfall in East Africa and possibly bring desperately needed drought relief to California, while temporarily cutting off rainfall to parts of the Indonesian rainforest.

A record strong event would also virtually guarantee that 2015 will beat 2014 as the warmest year this planet has seen since records began in the late 19th century.

In recent weeks, the water temperatures have grown warmer, propelled by a reversal of seasonal trade winds and the sloshing of mild ocean waters from west to east across the Pacific.

The atmosphere has shown telltale signs of positive feedback that are reinforcing the El Niño, including the formation of several tropical cyclones spinning in the central and northwestern Pacific Basins.

Taking these observations into account, a new forecast released Thursday by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) in Maryland calls for a strong El Niño event to occur between now and the coming northern hemisphere winter, which is when El Niño conditions tend to peak, as well as when they have their greatest influence on global weather patterns.  read more