Researchers are keeping a close eye on a giant pool of abnormally warm water in the Pacific Ocean that some think could trigger another El Niño of epic proportions if it rises to the surface.
“Given the drought that California is in the middle of right now, that is really where the heightened interest is,” said Mike Halpert, acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Md. “It turns out that the odds increase for California to be wet the stronger the event is.”
Photo: Sea surface height and temperature anomalies in the Pacific Ocean during an El Nino event in Nov. 1997, and during a La Nina the following year in Nov. 1998. (NASA via NBCNews.com)