El Nino + the Coast – What will happen this Year?

DECEMBER 2015  /  San Diego, CA

So what does California have in store for this Winter when one of the strongest El Nino’s on record brings it’s weather pattern and impacts to California? Anticipation for 20″ of rain and an end to the 4 year drought has been building with every update from the scientific community and news agencies. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) posted the following on their web site addressing the issue of coastal storm damage and flooding due to this years El Nino weather pattern.  Along with the hoped for rain to soak the native habitats and landscapes of the State, and easing of the 4 year drought replenishing the reservoir system are the counter point issues of flooding in the coastal zones and rivers, runoff + landslides in fire scared areas.  San Diego last week had a series of King Tides that were at the +7.3′ – 7.6′ range.  Those tides are high enough to flood the bayside of Mission Beach if the City did not preemptively build sand berms to hold back the rising tides.  Also Pacific Coast Highway between Solana Beach and Encinitas is subject to waves and storm damage.   But those occurrences were without any storm conditions to amplify the effect.  With potentially two more full moon / King Tide events during this years weather pattern, the coastal zone may be hard hit.  With previous forecasts of El Nino patterns developing and fading, this will be a very interesting season to experience.

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