On March 6, 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an El Nino watch for the spring and summer of 2014. Named after the baby Jesus by South American fisherman from the coasts of Peru and Ecuador, El Nino is the warming of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the western coast of South America in an area called Nino3.4. This warm water changes wind patterns, in turn affecting global weather. Moreover, this time around meteorologist and scientists are expecting a “doozy.” Though NOAA says it is too early to predict exactly how strong this year’s El Nino will be or if it will even occur, scientists say there is a 50 to 70 percent chance the world will experience an El Nino season starting in April to June and will lasting about 10 months.
Occurring every two to seven years, with the last El Nino happening in 2010, experts say we are due. Kevin Trenberth, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says, “This could be a substantial event and I think we’re due and I think it could have major consequences.” Trenberth could be absolutely right—major consequences both good and bad. California is experiencing a record-breaking drought and 2014’s El Nino weather event has a high possibility of relieving that drought. This is good news, as well as predictions for a milder Atlantic hurricane season and milder winter in 2015.
The bad news? El Nino also brings droughts, wildfires, heavy rains, flooding and landslides in other parts of the United States and the world. In March, food prices had already reached a 10-month high due to droughts. Most weather experts are claiming that 2014 could be our hottest year yet, with possibilities of 2015 being even hotter. Major droughts cause serious problems with livestock, crops and increases wild fires. The last super El Nino occurred in 1997 and 1998 causing $35 billion in damages and 23,000 deaths worldwide.
An El Nino season generally hits Asia and the Americas hardest. If you live in an area susceptible to drought, fire, water restrictions, mud and landslides or flooding, now is the time to prepare for the forthcoming global weather event.
For more on extreme weather events and stocking up, read these posts
- Building a Year’s Supply of Food Storage
- Introduction to Stockpiling Non-Perishable Food for Novice Preppers
- Survival Planning 101: Preparing for a Flood
- 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 12: Finding Alternative Sources of Water
- 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 13: Throwback Thursday Extreme Heat Survival
- 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 22: Heat Related Illnesses: Prevention and Treatment
- 30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 4: The Quintessential Preparedness Guide for Severe Thunderstorms
- How to Survive a Summer Power Outage
Have you already experienced the effects of extreme weather events? How did you prepare? Share your story with others in the comment section.