The El Nino status was upgraded from moderate to strong, making it the third strongest on record so far. Scientists say water temperatures in the Pacific are up another two degrees.
While forecasters upgraded the El Nino to an unusual strong status, Mike Halpert, deputy director of the federal Climate Prediction Center, said the event doesn't match the monster El Nino of 1997-1998, nor is it likely to. That El Ninos season caused half a billion dollars in damage and left 17 people dead in California.
Experts say it would take more than one El Nino season to get California out of a drought.
And Mother Nature can fool us. There are three times when all the conditions pointed to a strong El Nino such as this one, but in the end, it didn't bring a lot of rain.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.