A river of moisture arises from the Pacific Ocean and links up with a procession of enormous storms that bring heavy surf, flooding rains, and mountain snows to the U.S. West. It’s a weather narrative that one usually associates with a strong El Nino during winter time. But the powerful El Nino ended last year and it failed to bring the expected rains. Meanwhile, in early 2017, during a La Nina year in which typical trends would tend to point to drier conditions for the U.S. West, a procession of severe storms is now slamming into California.
El Nino Pattern During a La Nina Year
So what the heck happened? What could possibly cause such a crazy weather flip-flop in which record drought conditions extend through a time of El Nino but severe and extreme rains come with the onset of La Nina?
The answer appears to be that a…
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