2015-2016 El Niño Winter and California Water: What did we see from space?
June 17, 2016
El Niño and La Niña refer to changes in the patterns of sea surface temperatures across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean west of Peru. These changes can significantly influence ocean conditions and weather patterns the world over, creating extreme events from floods along the Pacific Coast of the United States to droughts in Southeast Asia and Australia. And although every El Niño event is different, in general the effects of El Niño in California are most noticeable as winter floods. The 2015-2016 winter, with such large temperature anomalies over broad areas of the eastern Pacific, was predicted to be, if not hoped to be, in a word, “wet” in California.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory observes many aspects of water on the Earth using cutting edge sensors on satellites and airplanes that include new insights into the Sierra snowpack and groundwater. Can these observations help to improve our understanding of the impacts of El Niño and La Niña on water resources critical to California? A panel of experts will be on hand to describe measurements over the past season in California focused on groundwater and mountain snowpack results and to discuss what these measurements might tell us of the future.
Dr. Tom Painter
Dr. Tom Farr
Dr. Jay Famiglietti
Dr. Duane Waliser