Rain over California’s Owen’s Valley in early May 2016. The 2015–2016 El Niño, which officially ended in late May, was one of the strongest El Niños on record. Although predicted to bring heavy rainfall to California, new research shows El Niño’s rains were not enough to ease California’s ongoing drought. Credit: Dustin Blakey, CC BY-NC 2.0

New research shows that California’s Sierra Nevada snowpack will likely not recover from the current drought until 2019

By Lauren Lipuma, Contributing Writer, EOS The unprecedented drought that has gripped the Southwest United States has severely depleted the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the major source of water for drinking and farming in California. Researchers and water managers thought this past winter’s monster El Niño would bring enough rainfall to help ease the strain on water…

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Say Hello to La Niña Conditions

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale A quick ENSO update. Meteorological agencies like NOAA use the sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3.4 region (5S-5N, 170W-120W) of the equatorial Pacific to determine if the tropical Pacific is experiencing El Niño, La Niña or ENSO neutral (not El Niño, not La Niña) conditions. Other agencies use the…

'The Blob' and El Niño are on their way out, leaving a disrupted marine ecosystem behind. CREDIT Michael Jacox

‘The Blob’ overshadows El Niño

Research identifies earlier ocean warming as dominant effect off West Coast From NOAA FISHERIES WEST COAST REGION El Niño exerted powerful effects around the globe in the last year, eroding California beaches; driving drought in northern South America, Africa and Asia; and bringing record rain to the U.S. Pacific Northwest and southern South America. In…

An analysis of data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission shows greater soil water deficits in 2016 than previous drought years with high Amazon fire activity. CREDIT Yang Chen, University of California, Irvine

El Niño could drive intense season for Amazon fires

From NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the “just watch, they’ll blame climate change anyway” department comes this forecast: The long-lasting effects of El Niño are projected to cause an intense fire season in the Amazon, according to the 2016 seasonal fire forecast from scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine. El Niño…