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By Tasha Matthews

August, 17, 2015 (San Diego)—National Weather Service forecasters are predicting a wet winter in San Diego due to the probability of a strong El Niño, perhaps the strongest since records began in 1950.

An El Niño occurs as a result of warming ocean surface waters which release heat into the atmosphere over the Pacific, creating a chain reaction that can result in cloud formation, storms and heavy rainfall.

In Spanish, the term El Niño means the  “Christ child,” so named because fisherman off the west coast of South America noticed the Pacific ocean waters often tended to warm around Christmas time. (https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/El-Nino#26072337-why-is-it-called-el-nio)

While the El Niño will likely help alleviate drought-parched Southern California, a single wet winter is not expected to end the four-year drought, the worst in the state’s history.

For more information on the El Niño update, visit www.climate.gov


Tasha Matthews is a UCSD Marshall College Student and Guardian Scholar

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