On February 14, 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an El Niño advisory
. While expected to be relatively weak, this El Niño weather pattern has already brought a wetter-than-usual winter to California.
Every two to seven years, trade winds shift and sea surface temperatures warm in the Pacific, creating the meteorological event known as El Niño. As conditions change, they trigger a domino effect of disruptive weather patterns worldwide. This causes warm ocean water on the west to be pushed further east across the ocean, which brings heavy rainfall and higher ocean swells with it.
The two most active El Niño years on record (since 1950) were 1982-83 and 1997-98. During ’97, El Niño-related weather killed approximately 23,000 people and cost as much as $45 billion in damages. Scientists predict that this El Niño season had the potential to be one of the three worst in history since the ‘50s.
Storm preparation is key to keeping your family, house and other belongings safe this El Niño season. Visit menlopark.org/storms
for preparedness tips and wet weather suggestions.