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Warm Pacific 'Blob' Linked to Weird Weather April 17, 2015
Sea Temperature Graphic
Warmer-than-normal ocean-surface temperatures can be seen off the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.
California’s recent drought and spells of weird weather are linked to a warm blob of water off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, according to climate experts.

Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists say the same phenomenon also could be behind this past winter’s barrage of snowstorms and Arctic outbreaks in the eastern half of North America.

“In the fall of 2013 and early 2014, we started to notice a big, almost circular mass of water that just didn’t cool off as much as it usually did, so by spring of 2014 it was warmer than we had ever seen it for that time of year,” wrote University of Washington climatologist Nick Bond in a press release.

Researchers say they are keeping a close eye on the warm Pacific pool to see if it lingers for a third year.

“Then we’ll know something really unusual is going on,” said atmospheric scientist Dennis Hartmann.

Photo: NOAA