The Pendleton Panther

El Nino To Blame For West Coast Weather

Posted on: January 21, 2010

California has been preyed upon by violent and tumultuous storms nonstop for the last three days.  Mudslides and floods have occurred in many places along the west coast.  Meteorologists claim that the El Nino effect is causing changes in the winter jet stream.  El Ninos are natural occurrences that take place when the ocean and atmosphere in the tropical Pacific become warmer than usual.  This warmer sea air can soak up more ocean water, and moves it east.  When the saturated air reaches the west coast of the United States, it is met by mountains and the much cooler mainland air.  These factors combine to rapidly cool the water filled ocean air.  The cooler and therefore denser air does not have as much room between its molecules to hold water, and rain falls.  This process has been happening in excess to the west, and even Arizona is expecting four feet of snow on Friday.

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