Scientists predict El Nino will strike this year

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HOUSTON, TX – You’ve probably heard the term El Nino about a million times, and climate experts are saying it has a high likelihood of striking again in 2014.

But what does it mean?

Basically, water temperatures in the equatorial pacific become unusually warm.

“It usually starts off the coast of Peru and expands out into the Pacific,” Weather Research Center president Jill Hasling said. “We found in the ’70s that it changes the climate around the globe.”

Those changes that El Nino brings can often mean too much rain, causing floods, or too little rain, creating droughts.

Countries like India and Australia are already planning for weak rainfall later this year.

But in Houston, “we have more rain during El Nino years it seems,” Hasling said. “And it’s been a pretty wet past few months.”

An El Nino also usually means fewer hurricanes, which is welcome news in Houston. But don’t get too excited.

“Just remember,” Hasling said, “It only takes one…since it’s hurricane season you want to be ready from June 1st to November 30.

So moral of the El Nino story? Mi amigo, be prepared para anything.

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