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WATER WORLD
El Nino forecast increases chances of ending So. California drought
by Staff Writers
San Diego (UPI) Feb 11, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

An El Nino will develop late this year, improving chances Southern California will pull out of a deep drought, a team of scientists is forecasting.

In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said they've developed a computer model that enables them to make such a prediction about one year in advance, rather than the 5 to 6 months that is common for spotting an El Nino, a natural periodic climate change that can strengthen Pacific storms.

In an El Nino, westbound winds in the Pacific slacken at and near the equator, allowing unusually warm water to flow east where it triggers atmospheric changes that can increase the strength and frequency of the winter storms that flow into Southern California, they said.

The researchers acknowledged it will always be difficult to come up with a completely accurate forecast of an El Nino.

"We are aware of the reputational risks associated with our announcement, yet formulating falsifiable hypotheses is at the heart of the scientific method," the science team said in the PNAS paper. "Should our alarm turn out to be correct, however, this would be a major step toward better forecasting -- and eventually understanding -- of the [El Nino] dynamics."

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WATER WORLD
Weak El Nino possible by mid-2014: WMO
Geneva (AFP) Jan 30, 2014
The Pacific Ocean could see a warming El Nino climate phenomenon emerge by the middle of this year, the UN's weather agency said Thursday. "Current model outlooks further suggest an enhanced possibility of the development of a weak El Nino around the middle of 2014," the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said. For the first few months of this year, meanwhile, the WMO said there wa ... read more


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