Is this the El Niño update we’ve been waiting for?

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  • We’ve been told all year to temper our hopeful expectations of an El Niño saving the freshwater lakes in San Diego by quenching the region with desperately needed rain. NOAA CPC forecasters were confident enough in their prediction models to call for an almost 100% probability for an El Niño during the period of May, June and July.

    But while an El Niño in that timeframe would likely set us up for a saltwater sportfishing season of epic proportions, that’s a dry period for our region, and an El Niño would not create any abnormal rain in that period.

    In May, scientists with NOAA CPC said they’d need more data to predict the likelihood of an El Niño later in the year, as well as the strength of the event.

    Apparently, they’ve seen what they needed to see, and with their latest update yesterday, NOAA CPC/IRI forecasters are now calling for more than a 90% chance of El Niño in the fall, and an 85% chance of those conditions persisting through the winter.

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  • And their predicting a strong El Niño event, with sea surface temperatures predicted to be about 2.0°C above average for the three month period of November, December and January. That would put this El Niño among the strongest on record, in the same range as those occurring in 1972-73, 1982-83 and most recently in 1997-98.

    “El Niño events affect the strength and position of the jet stream, and tilt the odds toward more rain than average along the West coast and in the Southeast during the winter,” NOAA blogger Emily Becker said in her recent entry.

    That might just be the best news the San Diego freshwater fishing scene has gotten in years. And with San Vicente inching closer to being finished, a wet fall and winter this year might allow the lake to open at some point in 2015.

    Heavy rainfall would save a number of the other lakes, tops amongst those are Barrett, Cuyamaca, Morena, and Sutherland in particular, all of which are operating at historically low water levels. Morena, the worst of those, is at only 3.2% of its total capacity, a puddle in comparison to it’s full pool.

    Still, NOAA is cautioning us not to get our hopes set too high, “El Niño loads the dice in favor of certain impacts, but it doesn’t guarantee them. However, stronger events tend to lead to more predictable effects,” Becker says.

    So, this winter might, could, probably, should…save our beloved lakes, but nothing is guaranteed.

    Source: June El Niño update: Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead | ENSO blog

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    Established in 1996, sdfish.com is San Diego's original and #1 source for updated fishing information, reports, and much more!

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    Aaron BuckelSal GervasiTim SchroederKen CameronRob Magargal Recent comment authors
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    Somnang Seng
    Somnang Seng

    Sounds probable. Let’s just hope for the best

    Rob Magargal
    Rob Magargal

    Bring it

    Mike Nute
    Mike Nute

    I was right!………a year later….better late than never,

    Ken Cameron
    Ken Cameron

    Hopefully all of the West Coast will get lots of rain.

    Tim Schroeder
    Tim Schroeder

    The tuna crabs are here!

    Sal Gervasi
    Sal Gervasi

    I saw them last week heading out to the to tuna grounds.

    Aaron Buckel
    Aaron Buckel

    Well are we in for a 100 year storm and floods? It’s been that long since the huge storm of 1916