El Nino may be dying, but it's not gone yet.
"I think the worst is over. The most intense part of the season has gone by," George Taylor, president-elect of the American Association of State Climatologists, said in a telephone interview Thursday from his office in Corvallis, Ore.Taylor, the climatologist for the state of Oregon, anticipates "some lingering effects" of the El Nino warm water pool in the Pacific that in its prime occupied an area 1 1/2 times the size of the United States.
In particular, he cited continuing strong jet stream winds blowing across the Pacific that are the primary source for bringing warm, moist air into California.
From now through the end of April, El Nino is "likely to kind of give you a few whacks with its tail as it leaves. I wouldn't rule out some additional decent-sized storms," he said.
Scientists have amassed evidence this year's El Nino is fading. On Thursday, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a video of satellite images that tracked the expansion and shrinkage of the warm tropical Pacific pool since January 1997. The most recent image shows the warm pool has broken up around the equator.