El Niño has arrived, says NOAA

Anthea LacchiaClimate

After several months of speculation due to borderline conditions in the Pacific Ocean, El Niño is finally here, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center. They issued an El Niño advisory on March 5, 2015. While El Niño events typically trigger changes in the weather across the globe, the current El Niño event is weak and is therefore not expected to have substantial and widespread impacts on global weather in the near future. Unfortunately, this means that the drought-stricken western United States will likely not receive enough rain to end the current drought cycle. At the same time, NOAA said:
… certain impacts often associated with El Niño may appear in some locations during the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.
Those impacts could include a cooler, wetter spring for some. The presence of an El Niño may also mean fewer hurricanes after hurricane season begins again June 1.

Sea surface temperature patterns in the Pacific Ocean during El Niño (warm) and La Niña (cold) events. Image via NOAA.