El Nino 2014 Developing in Pacific, Suggest Satellite Images

Friday, 16 May 2014 12:48 PM

By Michael Mullins

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El Niño 2014 is developing in the Pacific according to recently released images by NASA's Earth Observatory which show a rise of sea water in the eastern Pacific resembling the 1997-1998 El Niño weather pattern that produced extreme weather conditions around the globe.

"What we are now seeing in the tropical Pacific Ocean looks similar to conditions in early 1997," Eric Lindstrom, oceanography program manager at NASA headquarters, said in a statement. "If this continues, we could be looking at a major El Niño this fall. But there are no guarantees."

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In the image below, NASA points to rising water along the equator in the Pacific Ocean as signs that an El Niño is approaching, The International Business Times noted.


In April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center also suggested that there is a greater than 50 percent chance of an El Niño weather front developing during the summer months due to "above-average sea surface temperatures developing over much of the eastern tropical Pacific" during March.

If and when El Niño does occur, the weather phenomenon will likely be more severe than ones in recent decades, according to NOAA.

In its evaluation of the developing weather front, scientists at the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center stopped short from predicting when El Niño would occur and how strong it would be, the International Business Times noted.

So what should Americans expect if El Niño arrives this summer? It depends on the region.

In California and the surrounding area, El Niño will bring a wetter than usual weather front, a welcome relief to the West Coast's current extreme drought, Anthony Barnston, chief forecaster for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, told ABC News.

In the Northwest region of the United States, Barnston said El Niño will likely bring floods and mudslides, while residents on the East Coast will experience heightened hurricane winds.

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