This years monster El Nino, nicknamed Godzilla by NASA, is officially over. It heated up the globe, but alas, it didn’t end California’s four-year drought. In its monthly update Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the El Nino has ended, 15 months after its birth in March 2015. El Nino is a natural warming of parts of the central Pacific that changes weather worldwide.
This El Nino triggered droughts in parts of Africa and India and played a role in a record hurricane season in the Pacific. It also added to man-made warming, as Earth has had 12 straight record hot months and is likely to have its second straight record hot year. It will also go down as one of the three strongest El Ninos on record, along with 1997-1998 and 1982-83.
It has caused some of the worst coral bleaching and death of any event ever witnessed. Some in California had hoped that the drought would be busted by the El Nino, which generally brings more rain to California and the South. But even at the start, NOAA had cautioned that the rain deficit was too big for the El Nino to fix.
Earth is now in the neutral part of the natural cycle of El Ninos, which includes the cooler flip side, La Nina. But don’t expect that to last. NOAA forecasts a 50 percent chance of La Nina by the end of the summer and 75 percent chance by the end of the fall.
La Ninas generally bring more hurricanes to the Atlantic instead of the Pacific, but doesn’t have much impact on summer temperature or rain in the United States. It often features drier-than-normal conditions in the U.S. Southwest and wetter conditions in the Pacific Northwest. In the winter, La Nina often brings lots of rain to parts of Australia and Indonesia and cooler temperatures in parts of Africa, Asia, South America and Canada.
Global temperatures with the El Nino that just ended have been about 0.8 degrees warmer (0.45 degrees Celsius) than the 1998 El Nino.