Just as the long-awaited El Niño appeared to be a bust, the National Weather Service raised the El Niño status from “watch” to “advisory.” There is now a 50 to 60 percent chance that El Niño conditions will continue in the Northern Hemisphere through summer 2015.
However, this El Niño event is expected to weak. Widespread, significant global impacts are not expected.
What does this mean for North America? According to Emily Becker with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the news may not be enough to break the drought in California or the southwest.
Currently 93 percent of California is in severe or worse drought, according to the latest Drought Monitor report available here.
“For example, historical precipitation patterns associated with El Niño show that only about 3 of the past 10 El Niño years exhibited above-average rainfall in California during March-April-May,” Becker wrote.