The intensifying El Niño event in the Pacific is looking to be the strongest event of the last 50 years. Some news outlets have dubbed it the “Godzilla” El Niño.
Officially referred to as ENSO, or El Niño Southern Ocsillation, this event is a period of dramatically warm surface water temperatures that occurs across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. These events usually alternate with periods of cooler temperatures, or La Niña events, and can have dramatic effects on weather across the globe.
The immediate effects of the warming water are already being felt… Water temperatures around the islands are at least 2°C above normal, pushing our normally cool water into near bathtub temperatures. Local divers are commenting on the warm water temperatures, those who normally wear wet suits are comfortable without.
This warm water is also fueling the series of hurricanes sweeping past the islands. The storms just keep coming. It will be an interesting year!