Potential for “Godzilla” El Niño This Winter – IS THIS IT?
“El Niño” is a weather condition that can spell disaster for Southwestern United States residents. Flooding, mudslides, coastal erosion, earth movement and massive property damage have been familiar repercussions of previous El Niño winters in California and other Southwestern states. Present wind patterns and water temperatures indicate a severe El Niño is developing and looking eerily similar to the 1997 – 1998 El Niño. In California, that storm caused over $500 million dollars’ worth of damage. Has it arrived?
What Exactly Is El Niño?
El Niño refers to an abnormal state of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific that causes huge climate changes around the world. El Niño is second only to the seasons themselves in determining worldwide weather patterns.
How Is The Weather Different During El Niño?
The unusually warm ocean surface temperatures associated with El Niño alter the typical weather patterns for many areas of the world, including the West Coast. Because of the very warm ocean temperatures, anticipated rain is taken from some areas and dropped on other areas. It also pushes the Jet Stream farther south.
In California, El Niño is known for bringing frequent and numerous winter storms with torrential rainfall. The impact of the rainfall varies between the North and Southwest, usually affecting one or the other but not both areas simultaneously. Northern US States are more susceptible to see below average temps and below median precipitation.
“Godzilla”, or as it is also being coined, “Bruce Lee” El Niño, has many similarities to the powerful 1997 El Niño that caused millions of dollars in damage and took 17 lives. Since 1950, today’s ocean temperatures are the second highest on record. Due to the current drought, large amounts of rainfall may be seen as a blessing. However, drought conditions are far worse now, in turn, making mudslides, floods, and incredible surf, much more detrimental. Even an inch of rain over an hour can cause damage and flooding. While the previous El Niño of 2010 only brought the average rainfall in many areas, it still caused 36 percent more erosion along our shorelines than average.
Why Do Scientists Predict An El Niño This Year?
In August 2015, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) noted the average water temperature in the Pacific was already 3.4° degrees above average temperatures, slightly above 1997 levels, the warmest in the modern era. Unlike previous El Niño years, it is noted that the ocean temperatures and atmospheric conditions are responding in unison. Most scientists believe there is a strong El Niño every 20 years; this would put us right on track for a wet winter. Additionally, weather models this year show a 60 percent chance of above average rainfall in Southern California.
El Niño can be devastating to California homeowners, as it was in previous El Niño winters. Property owners who are vulnerable to erosion, water damage, flooding, mudslides or earth movement should seek expert advice in how to best prepare for the upcoming El Niño winter. In addition, homeowners, homeowner associations, and property managers should perform pre-winter inspections to confirm that their roofs, decks, and other exterior surfaces are not defective and are properly functioning. The cost of prevention is almost always much less than the cost of losses from unusually heavy rain.
If you suspect there may be defective conditions in your homeowner association, condominium, townhome or commercial property, The Naumann Law Firm will perform a complimentary inspection for your development with a general contractor or architect and advise you of the findings, at no charge. The most common water-related issues involve roof and window leaks, excessive soil erosion, and ponding water on hardscape or balcony decks due to improper sloping. These defective conditions turn out to be costly items considering the resultant damage from the defects must also be repaired.
Contact us at: naumannlegal.com
Protect your home from the rain!
“Don’t forget to perform pre-winter inspections to confirm that roofs, decks, and other exterior surfaces are not defective and are properly functioning. The cost of prevention is almost always much less than the cost of losses from unusually heavy rain.
Worst Storm in 60 years!
“NASA Say El Niño Event Worst Storm In 60 Years of losses from unusually heavy rain.”