Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Midday Edition

High Tides, El Niño And 'The Blob' In California

High Tides, El Niño And ‘The Blob’ In California
High Tides, El Niño And 'The Blob' In California
High Tides, El Niño And 'The Blob' In California GUESTS:Dan Cayan, climate researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the USGS Alex Tardy, warning coordination meteorologist, National Weather Service

On Thanksgiving and again on Christmas, tides in San Diego are forecast to reach seven feet, which is unusually high for Southern California.


Complicating the situation are the storms predicted for the same days. When a storm surge pairs up with these very high tides, the consequences can be flooding and misery in low-lying coastal areas, including Ensenada, Imperial Beach, La Jolla and Del Mar.

El Niño is getting stronger by the day. When the ocean temperature along the equator reached 36.5F degrees above normal, meteorologists were impressed by the strength of the phenomenon. On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a temperature of three degrees above normal.

“Repeated storms will really benefit us with a snowpack,” NOAA meteorologist Alex Tardy told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday. “We have a lot of hope and scientific evidence that we’ll at least see a normal snowpack in the Sierra Nevada.”

RELATED: Introducing: The KPBS Drought Tracker

And there's more. A large zone of warm water is parked off the Northern California coast. "The Blob," as it is called, is a remnant of the last two warm winters in California, where the ocean did not lose much heat. It is uncertain what effect this mass will have on San Diego weather.

Explore all national, state and local returns now.