Mar 7, 2016

El Niño’s disastrous worldwide consequences are just getting started

California
USA
by
Eric Holthaus
,
Slate
Sections of land are seen missing from coastal properties in Pacifica, California after El Niño-related storms on January 26, 2016. Photo: Josh Edelson, Getty Images
Sections of land are seen missing from coastal properties in Pacifica, California after El Niño-related storms on January 26, 2016. Photo: Josh Edelson, Getty Images

As far as El Niños go, the one we’re experiencing now is a doozy. In fact, it’s probablythe strongest that’s ever been measured. In the simplest terms, that means one thing: Get ready for another year of wild weather.

In California, that wildness is on full display this week. On Monday, a line of thunderstorms rattled through the Los Angeles metro region during the morning commute, bearing lightning, hail, and wind gusts near hurricane force. Over the weekend, nearly a foot of rain fell in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, and heavy snows near Lake Tahoe and on Mammoth Mountain measured nearly 60 inches. The extreme weather was part of a series of sprawling storm systems lined up to impact the West Coast—a classic feature of strong El Niño winters.