LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The powerful El Nino over the Pacific Ocean could bring massive, once-in-a-generation storms to Southern California in 2015, according to a new report released Thursday.
The report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center says there is a greater than 90 percent chance that El Nino will continue through early 2016 in the northern hemisphere. The report also says there's an 86 percent chance it will last into early spring.
"Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic features reflect a significant and strengthening El Nino," the report states.
Strong El Nino conditions can result in not only more storms - but stronger storms - typically carrying heavy rain and snowfall.
Climate scientists say this year's El Nino could rival the intensity of the record-setting 1997 El Nino season, which caused weather-related havoc around the world including mudslides and flooding in Southern California.
El Nino in 1997 was the strongest on record, measuring 2.3 on forecasters' scales. Currently, this year's El Nino is at a 1.0, but it's still climbing. Some forecasters predict it will surpass 2.0.
While all of this may sound like the perfect cure to the state's multi-year drought, NOAA forecasters say even an above-average El Nino won't be enough to erase the past four years of bone-dry weather in California.
For the full report, visit www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.