El Niño in Southern California

El Niño is characterized by warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the Eastern equitorial Pacific. The interactions between a warmer ocean and the atmosphere affect weather around the world. A strong El Niño in the Pacific Ocean this year has the potential to become one of the most powerful on record. Models are predicting El Niño will peak in the late fall or early winter. Impacts due to flooding, unusually large waves, heavy precipitation, and erosion are expected in Southern California. The resources below can help us understand what to expect and how to prepare.

What to Expect 

Coastal Flooding in California

NOAA Ocean Service

This site has great graphics to explain higher water levels and flooding due to tides, El Niño and winter storms. Get updates via @noaaocean and Facebook.



What Does El Niño Mean for Coastal California?
U.S. Geological Survey

This flyer explains how El Niño changes coastal conditions.

El Niño- What to expect this winter
NOAA Climate.gov

This site features an El Niño blog, weather and precipitation maps, and other resources.



What is El Niño in a nutshell?
NOAA Climate.gov

What are El Niño and La Niña?
NOAA National Ocean Service

Both pages provide great primers on the
El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate cycle.


Satellite images showing sea surface hieght of El Niño    
NASA Jet Propolsion Laboratory
(updated every 10 days)



Video: El Niño de 2015-2016 (Español)
World Meteorological Association

Wonderful video that explains El Niño.




Resources to Help Prepare

El Niño & Extreme Weather
California Coastal Commission

This page has a wealth of information including checklists for general property, shoreline property, and community preparedness. There is also a table with anticipated high tides dates for each county and El Niño FAQs. 

Prepare for El Niño
Los Angeles County

This page covers everything from where to get
                                                  sandbags and which agencies to follow on social
                                                  media for the latest information, to weather
                                                  forecasts and emergency contacts. 

Severe Weather and Flooding
City of Los Angeles Emergency Management

                                                  This is the city's disaster awareness page. It has
                                                  resources and tips to get prepared for flash
                                                  flooding, landslides, power outages, and more.
                                                  Keep up to date on twitter with #ElNinoLA,

How to Prepare in LA
City of Los Angeles

                                                  This site covers the basics of El Niño, steps to
                                                  prepare, and how to report a problem.


Ocean Impacts on an El Niño Event
NOAA Lesson & Activity



Climate Literacy Resources
NOAA Outreach & Education



Sea Level Rise & King Tides
USC Sea Grant Curriculum



Video - Change in sea levels over the past 23 years
NASA Jet Propolsion Laboratory




 In the Media

Studying the heart of El Niño, where its weather begins
New York Times, February 1, 2016

Photo by Kent Nishimura


'All hands on deck' needed for El Niño preparations, officials say
Los Angeles Times, December 9, 2015

Photo by Luis Sinco



El Niño keeps getting stronger, raises chance of drenching rains 
Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2015 

Graphic by Los Angeles Times



Meet the Neighbors: The tropical sea creatures El Niño is bringing to SoCal shores 
KPCC, October 22, 2015

Photos by Jackie Mora, Nathan Rupert, Kimball Garrett

Photo gallery of images from the 1997-98 El Niño
Los Angeles Times

Photo by Mel Melcon 




Will El Niño 'solve' the drought? Not if the rain falls in Southern California
Sacramento Bee, October 4, 2015

Photo by Greg Barnette



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