El Niño Is Officially Here, NOAA Says; but Don’t Blame It for Recent California Storms

Like a fickle paramour, El Niño is visiting California again — but the weather pattern is weak this year and its relationship with the state is tenuous, experts say.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that after months of flirting, conditions for El Niño have finally come together in the central Pacific. Forecasters said there’s a 55% chance the weather pattern conditions will continue through April across the southern half of the U.S.

That means there’s a chance of more rain plus warmer weather coming on the heels of this week’s storms, which have poured rain across California and triggered flood warnings and mudslides.

The most recent atmospheric river storm has pounded Northern California with torrential rain since late Tuesday. Nearly 5 inches has fallen on Sausalito in the last 24 hours, and a woman was hospitalized after being trapped in her home following a mudslide. The conditions prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch and high-wind warning for the Bay Area.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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