Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Warming ocean temperatures may not bring rain to parched California

Source: Reuters - Fri, 5 Sep 2014 00:08 GMT
Author: Reuters
fod-env cli-wea hum-nat
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

By Sharon Bernstein

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept 4 (Reuters) - The Pacific Ocean phenomenon called El Nino, which can lead to storms in the U.S. Southwest and other places, will likely start soon, but may not bring hoped-for relief to drought-parched California, U.S. government meteorologists said on Thursday.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a report the likelihood was increasing that El Nino, characterized by a warming of the ocean temperature in the eastern Pacific near the equator, would be weak this year.

A weak El Nino could still bring flooding, storms and even hurricanes to Southern California, but it is too soon to tell whether that will happen, said Eric Boldt, a meteorologist with the agency.

"Weak-to-moderate El Ninos are historically very dry to very wet," Boldt said. "Anything could happen."

Many in the most populous U.S. state have pinned their hopes for rain on the phenomenon, which brought torrential rains to California in 2005 and the fall and winter of 1997-1998.

The state, the largest U.S. grower of fruits and vegetables, is in the throes of a devastating drought that is expected to cost its economy $2.2 billion in lost crops, jobs and other damage.

According to the latest data from the United States Drought Monitor, nearly 60 percent of the state is experiencing "exceptional" drought, the worst drought conditions possible. (Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Peter Cooney)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Most Popular
TOPICAL CONTENT
Topical content
LATEST SLIDESHOW

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
FEATURED JOBS
Featured jobs