National Weather Service warned on Thursday a “Godzilla-like” El Niño phenomenon, which is gathering strength in Pacific Ocean is likely to become the strongest on record since 1950. It could bring “once-in-a-generation storms” to drought-stricken California.
“Everything now is going to the right way for El Niño. If this lives up to its potential, this thing can bring a lot of floods, mudslides and mayhem,” said Bill Patzert from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as quoted by Los Angeles Times.
According to the weather’s Climate Prediction Center, all simulated models foresee a powerful El Niño, which would have its peak early winter or late fall. Though at the current state of California, the El Niño would bring benefits, but it will also cause some detrimental effects.
The weather services station cited the incident in 1997, the first time El Niño was recorded to be the strongest, causing the annual rainfall to double in Southern California and the snow pack to double in Sierra Nevada. A year after, the same region rained so heavily it quickly caused widespread mudslides and flooding, killing 17 people and leaving “half a billion dollars in damage.”
The El Niño that has the potential to turn into “Godzilla” has been wreaking havoc across the world. LA Times says “Bruce Lee,” a nickname given by NWS’s blogger, El Niño’s effects are also felt in Australia and Asia such as Indonesia and Philippines, where drought are experienced.