El Niño is coming... But what is it?
For several years now, a persistent La Niña pattern in the equatorial Pacific Ocean has been easing some of the worst temperature rises, as well as shaking up precipitation patterns. "There's a 62% chance that El Niño will develop during the May–July period, and more than 80% chance of El Niño by the fall," according to NOAA's Emily Becker.
El Niño and La Niña are both climate patterns that occur in the tropical Pacific Ocean and have significant impacts on weather patterns around the world.
El Niño occurs when the surface water temperature in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean becomes warmer than usual. This can lead to changes in atmospheric circulation patterns and can result in warmer and wetter conditions in some parts of the world, such as California.
On the other hand, La Niña occurs when the surface water temperature in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean becomes cooler than usual. This can lead to changes in atmospheric circulation patterns and can result in cooler and drier conditions in some parts of the world, such as California.
In terms of surfing conditions in San Francisco, El Niño can bring larger and more consistent waves, but also more storms and rougher conditions. La Niña, on the other hand, can bring smaller and less consistent waves, but also clearer and calmer conditions. However, it's important to note that these patterns can be variable and are not always predictable, so it's best to check local surf reports for the most up-to-date information.