This winter’s El Niño could be one of the strongest in 70 years. What does it mean for you?

El Niño refers to the periodic warming of ocean waters in the Eastern Pacific, which influences weather patterns globally.

Forecasts indicate the 2023-24 El Niño could rank among the strongest in seven decades, since the 1950s.

For many parts of the United States, this means the upcoming winter is likely to be warmer and drier than average.

However, global impacts are varied - some areas like Northern Europe could see extra precipitation while drought persists across parts of Asia and Africa.

With warm ocean temperatures, tropical storm activity in the Pacific may be reduced during the heart of El Niño, but could spark up later in 2024 as it declines.

Significant El Niño events in the past have caused billions in economic losses globally due to weather extremes and crop declines induced by droughts or flooding.

Monitoring this evolving El Niño event will be crucial for regions vulnerable to weather disruptions to put plans in place to improve resilience and prepare responses.

Even without El Niño impacts, climate change alone means many areas should ready themselves for more intense droughts, rainfall, flooding and storms in the years ahead.

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