El Niño pattern starts; no predictions yet on next winter

Howard Sheckter
Wendilyn Grasseschi
Staff Writer

According to Mammoth weather forecaster Howard Sheckter, the El Niño Basin area of the Pacific Ocean has now hit the threshold water temperature necessary to be declared in an El Niño pattern (at least 1 degree Celsius); however, to become a full El Niño phenomenon, the ocean temperatures within the basin must remain at the threshold temperatures or warmer, for at least three full months.
The El Niño pattern has been associated with wetter winters in California in some cases and Sheckter wrote this week that he believes the chances for a wet winter next year are better than they have been in many years.
A wet spring is also more likely this spring, he said.