Experts say California may see stronger El Nino than 1997-1998

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Scientists say there's growing evidence that California could see a stronger El Nino episode this winter than in 1997-1998.

You may remember the devastating flooding and mudslides that resulted from that strong El Nino in the late 1990s.

February 1998 was exceptionally notable. Nearly the entire month was filled with continuous storms. Chatsworth and UCLA totaled over 20 inches of rain and the state suffered over $550 million worth in damages.

Here's why scientists say this could happen again - right now, satellites show the dramatic warming of equatorial pacific waters and weakening of upper-level easterly winds which indicate an ongoing and strengthening El Nino.

The Climate Prediction Center's forecast calls for above normal rainfall for Southern California's entire upcoming rainy season running from October to March.

This could provide California with some serious drought relief and replenish reservoirs, but the threat of catastrophic flooding cannot be overlooked.
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