On Thursday, scientists at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) said chances for El Nino this summer are close to 100 percent, with simulations suggesting by December, it could exceed the devastating 1997-1998 event that brought widespread flooding and hurricane-force winds to most of California.

So far, the mean ocean temperatures are already above 2º Celsius. For Pacific Ocean temperatures, an anomaly in the range of 1.5 to 3.5 degrees Celsius would be considered characteristic of an El Nino. The warmer and more widespread the water, the stronger the El Nino.

In recent years, IRI scientists said global warming has made it difficult to predict an El Nino event, often leadingforecasters astray.

Looking at the line models on the graph of temperatures over the next few months, it shows the vast majority of computers models predicting significant increases in ocean temperature, which usually indicate torrential rain. By the end of summer, only two models (shown in green and blue) predict the ocean cools back down. If the opposite outlier is accurate, temperatures in the ocean would soar well over 3 degrees, giving California a record-setting and likely disastrous El Nino.

What is known for certain is that for the next 3 months, every single computer model agrees on at least a 1 degree or higher El Nino continuing. By July, scientists will know what winter may look like.

Read more: Source: SF CBSLocal