The El Niño condition that has already brought a series of storms to Southern California is expected to gradually weaken through the spring and vanish by early summer, forecasters said Thursday.
“A strong El Niño is expected to gradually weaken through spring 2016, and to transition to … neutral during late spring or early summer,” the national Climate Prediction Center said in it’s latest update.
Nevertheless, the pronounced warming of the Pacific Ocean will continue to affect weather patterns across the United States for several months to come.
“El Niño has already produced significant global impacts and is expected to affect temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States during the upcoming months,” according to the update.
The forecasters said the El Niño would cause above-average precipitation across the southern tier of the United States and below-average moisture in the northern part of the country. Temperatures are likely to be higher than normal in the West and northern half of the country and below average in the southern Plains and along the Gulf Coast.
An El Niño, so named because Peruvian fisherman first noticed unusually warm water at Christmas, the time of the Christ child, affects Southern California by shifting the jet stream south and bringing with it storms that usually hit farther north.
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