Something scientists call "the blob" could be the drought-buster California has been waiting for. "The blob" may be coming, but not soon enough."
Hot dry weather fueled a nearly 1,000-acre wildfire east of Los Angeles that forced hundreds from their homes.
This morning evacuation orders were lifted, with cooler weather on the way. And for parched Southern California an even more dramatic change could be coming, says NASA climatologist Josh Willis.
"We are watching a very big blob of warm water in the central Pacific right now and it's headed our way," said Willis.
But why a blob?
"We would call that a temperature anomaly back when I was in grad school, but I think 'blob' has a better ring to it."
When the drought began in 2011, the warm water was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but over the last few years, that began to change as the blob of warm water shifted to where it is now, along the West Coast.
Scientists cannot say for sure if the change in water temperature will cause a wet winter pattern known as El Nino, which is capable of producing torrential downpours.
We were told that last winter we were going to get a big El Nino and perhaps some very rainy weather.
"Well El Nino from last winter turned out to be el wimpo," said Willis.
But all signs suggest the coastal water warming trend will continue and the impact is already visible along the California coast, where malnourished sea lions washed ashore all winter, as the fish they feed on headed out to sea, in search of cooler water.
"Often times it's the biology that's the first indication that the climate is about to change," said Willis.
And perhaps, finally put an end to what seems like an endless drought.
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