“If you thought the winter of 2014 to 2015 was warm and dry, think again. Scientists are predicting this coming season to bring the strongest El Nino since 1997.”
So say the weather prognosticators about the upcoming year, which does not bode well for everything from crops to the potential for wildfires, to another bust season for many ski resorts.
Dubbed the “Godzilla El Niño” by NASA scientist Bill Patzert, this year’s weather pattern is predicted to bring substantial moisture to normally dry regions and dry weather to areas more accustomed to rain and snow.
While this may herald a start to the end of California’s current drought, it does not promise much in the way of moisture to B.C., including the coastal regions, which are predicted to struggle again with a low snowpack, below-normal precipitation and unseasonably warm temperatures.
This scenario may not be at all disappointing for the average Vancouverite, but this weather pattern could have an extremely negative impact on various industries throughout the province. Without a solid snowpack, already arid regions like the Boundary will struggle with crop growth, aquifer levels and, as its residents learned this year, the extreme risk of wildfires.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared the arrival of the “long-anticipated” El Niño back in March, citing records of above-average sea temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific. It has certainly lived up to expectations, with unpredictable weather patterns the norm across the continent.
“This definitely has the potential of being the Godzilla El Niño,” said Patzert, who is a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also claims that signals from the Pacific Ocean indicate this El Niño is stronger than that which occurred in 1997, the most powerful El Niño on record.
“This potentially could be the El Niño of our generation,” he told the Los Angeles Times.