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News Picks : Chance of an El Niño this year rises

By: Charles Day
11 April 2014
Los Angeles Times: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has raised its estimate that an El Niño will develop this winter from 50% to 66%. The interannual climate perturbation occurs every 2–7 years when a weakening of the trade winds that blow across the Pacific Ocean causes the waters off the coast of Peru to heat up. For drought-stricken California, the news is good. Rainfall is higher in the US Southwest in El Niño years. Other welcome effects include the suppression of hurricanes and tropical cyclones. On the downside, El Niño events lead to higher global temperatures, droughts in Australia, and flooding in East Africa.


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