Out here in drought-stricken California, the weather has been creepily gorgeous for over a year. But now, we’re facing one of the worst storm seasons in recorded history for this region.
New predictions based current climate models came out this week, and they show (as you can see in the gif above) that today’s weather systems are looking dangerously similar to those from 1997, another giant El Niño year. According to Rong Gong Lin II, writing in the Los Angeles Times, scientists believe the mega-storms will hit in late fall or early winter:
The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday that all computer models are predicting a strong El Niño to peak in the late fall or early winter.
“This definitely has the potential of being the Godzilla El Niño,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. Patzert said El Niño’s signal in the ocean “right now is stronger than it was in 1997,” the summer in which the most powerful El Niño on record developed …
“This could be among the strongest El Niños in the historical record dating back to 1950,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center.
After the summer 1997 El Niño muscled up, the following winter gave Southern California double its annual rainfall and dumped double the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, an essential source of precipitation for the state’s water supply, Patzert said.
So what is a good disaster prepper to do? We know that the rains are coming. We know where they’re likely to strike.
My housemates and I have decided to use the last warm days of summer to patch all the holes in our roof, and to make sure all our rain gutters are clear and in working order. Also, I’ve decided I should buy some good rain boots. What else should we be doing?
Image Source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist Bill Patzert