National Weather Service predicts strong El Nino

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The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center announced that this year's El Nino pattern could be the most powerful on record.
 
California is bracing for major flooding and mudslides, much like they saw during the El Nino of 1997.
 
Remember the heavy rains that wreaked havoc during the 2014 monsoon season? It's a possibility that Arizona could get heavy storms like that before this monsoon season is over.
 
Federal forecasters say there's a greater than 90% chance that El Nino will continue all winter, and the effects could last into next spring.
 
It looks like the state is going from extreme heat to extreme rain.
 
El Nino happens when the water temperature over the Pacific Ocean rises, that translates into more moisture in the air. And when the atmosphere is just right it's a recipe for a very wet winter. It could also bring heavy rains to the valley before summer is over.
 
"We've got six more weeks of monsoon, and there's still warm water off the coast with hurricanes forming, they just haven't been coming up the coast as much," said Nancy Selover.
 
It was hurricane moisture that was pulled into the state, bringing the heaviest rain to Arizona last August and September, making it the 7th wettest monsoon on record.
 
While the rain would be welcome, state climatologists are really hoping for snow in the Rockies and the Colorado River. After experiencing four years of drought, a heavy snowpack would give us in the valley more water to use.
 
"Lake Powell, Lake Mead, Roosevelt Lake, all those reservoir levels are down 50%... so a really good winter with a lot of snowpack and runoff in the Spring can help bring those levels back up, that's what we're hoping for," she said.
 
The predictions come with a warning that the effects of the weather system are never certain.
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