Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting that the strongest, and most erratic, El Nino in 60 years is currently building in the Pacific Ocean, reported Salon. They say this El Nino, combined with the effects of climate change, will have global consequences due to turbulent hurricane seasons.

In connection to rising water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, NOAA scientists believe that El Nino conditions will peak by late autumn or early winter. “We’re predicting that the El Nino could be among the strongest in the historical record dating back to 1950,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Prediction Center.

NOAA researchers estimate a 90% chance that El Nino will strike during this winter, and an 85% chance that it will continue on until next spring. The upcoming El Nino is expected to generate “above-normal hurricane seasons” in the central and western Pacific Ocean hurricane basins. There is now a discussion within the scientific community about the extent of the influence climate change has on El Nino weather patterns.

Scientists predict that the upcoming El Nino will bring heavy rain to drought-stricken California. However, the result of such an active storm season would inflict monumental damage on western Pacific countries such as Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. These countries do not have the infrastructure to withstand large, successive hurricanes.  

On one hand, an active El Nino system could bring more rain to California, which has been in a sufferable drought for four years. On the other hand, western Pacific countries are in danger of being damaged heavily by hurricanes. Either way, climate change is affecting our global weather patterns in tremendous ways.