2015-2016 El Niño and California’s Coast and Ocean

Image courtesy of Charles Thompson, PO.DAAC/JPL; Data: AVISO, France

Image courtesy of Charles Thompson, PO.DAAC/JPL; Data: AVISO, France

The strong El Niño conditions that developed in 2015 and are projected to continue until 2016 are causing changes in sea levels and living marine resources. The following resources provide information on these changes and how to prepare for the impacts of El Niño on the coast and ocean.

NOAA site on “Coastal Flooding in California: What you need to know” on El Niño, elevated sea levels, King Tides and potential impacts from coastal flooding

USGS summary “What does El Niño mean for coastal California?”, which includes the summary that waves may be up to 30% larger than normal; winds will be stronger; rainfall will be greater than normal, especially in Southern California; and sea level will be 8-12 inches higher than normal and even higher during storms due to winds and waves.

Record Breaking Sea Levels In California  –Thanksgiving Week 2015

Science summary of elevated sea levels in California due to El Niño and warm ocean conditions, including graphs of sea levels during past strong El Niños in California

September 22, 2015 Workshop-Changing Ocean Conditions: Understanding El Niño’s Impacts on California’s Living Marine Resources Through Ocean Observations

Governor’s website on storm preparedness

Coastal Commission resources on El Niño

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission website on El Niño

NOAA tide station predictions and observations

Sea level anomalies (Scripps site based on NOAA data)

Scripps initiative for citizen science to help assess the impacts of El Niño

California King Tides Project