Drought relief? The odds of an El Nino - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Drought relief? The odds of an El Nino

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It could be exactly what drought-stricken California needs, and some experts have said there is a strong chance California could see an El Nino this winter.

The warmer temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are washing up rare sea life on San Diego beaches, which some believe is a sign the El Nino is coming, but scientists have more reliable proof that an El Nino is coming and it will bring above average rain.

Warmer water temperatures are signaling the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center to predict an 85-percent chance an El Nino will last through the 2015-2016 winter.

"Now it's taking a little bit more of a foothold. You can see temperatures, the color is getting redder and redder, which means warming is taking place in the Equatorial Pacific," said National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Moede.

Last year, an El Nino watch eventually broke up, giving hope to quench California's drought, now in the fourth year.

"It really is good timing. If this develops and the storms do develop like we hope they do for a strong El Nino, our chances are better for an El Nino. Our chances are not guaranteed, but the probability is better for us," said Moede.

Although the water temperatures not nearly as high to predict the destructive 1982-1983, and 1997-1998, El Ninos, CBS News 8's meteorologist Matt Baylow said it will be strong enough to soak up some of California's dry earth.

"We had a drought for several years. Beforehand, much like this one, and in the winter of 1997-1998, the water was flowing over the Lake Hodges Dam. So it made a huge impact on our drought situation," said Baylow.

A rain that can start pack it's punch in October.

"We have a lot of El Ninos over Winter times, but the stronger they are, the more likely we are to get heavy rainfall," said Baylow.

Proof is in the ocean, swirling together temperature measurements and map, El Nino is coming.

"The trend is up in a lot of them, and that is why we have greater confidence in El Nino this year," said Baylow.

Meteorologist also said this could help California's snow pack which will help fill Northern California's reservoirs.

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