El Nino-The Bad Baby
While the time to build an Ark is not upon us, it may be time to reflect on what is causing these monstrous storms.
The culprit is known as El Nino, and the storms it brings are anything but baby.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. It is an oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific."
What that means in non-technical speak is that the surface of the ocean warms, causing two distinct changes.
The first is that the warmer water more easily evaporates into the atmosphere. Picture a steaming hot cup of tea. The increase in atmospheric moisture means more rain.
The second is a shift in wind patterns caused by the location of the warm water changing.
During normal winters, warm waters that are created in the Pacific are driven towards Australia by trade winds.
When El Nino strikes, the tradewinds weaken and allow that warm water to disperse east towards the Americas.
It is that warm water and the change in the trade winds that create storms in different parts of the ocean, thus sending those storms to different areas, (i.e. your back yard).
When you combine all these factors you have a very brief and very rough explanation of what El Nino is. To find out more information on the weather phenomena that has us scrambling for our umbrellas click here or here.
Despite short breaks the current string of storms is not expected to leave our area until Friday. As I write this the sun is shining, making way for the next round of storms that are expected to strike again tonight.
Here the 5-day forecast for Santa Clarita:
- Wednesday- Showers all day with highs in the upper 50's.
- Thursday- Showers all day with a chance of thunderstorms, highs in the upper 50's.
- Friday- Showers all day with highs in the upper 50's
- Saturday- Sunny with highs in the upper 50's
- Sunday- Partially cloudy with highs in the lower 60's.