Comparative Monthly Rainfall Climatology of Strong and Very Strong* El Niño Events

Comparative Monthly Rainfall Climatology ofStrong and Very Strong* El Niño Events


As the current very strong El Niño continues, it's time to examine how the current event looks in comparison to past similar strength events.  The following is breakdown of the precipitation anomalies on a month-to-month basis for the previous strong (1957-58, 1965-66, 1972-73) and very strong (1982-83, 1997-98) El Niños. 

- December 2015 across the Pacific Coast states was almost a reverse image of the 1997 and there are really no good analog event for the West Coast. 

- Recent discussions have centered on Southern California being "left out" of the January mid-latitude storm track, but an examination shows that only in January 1983 was Southern California above normal.

The full analysis can be found at

This page will be updated monthly through March as the each month's data becomes available.  Send comments and questions to