El Niño is coming … and trailing weather-related havoc in its wake. From drought and bushfires in Australia to flooding in sub-Saharan Africa to a delayed monsoon in India, there are few places in the world that won’t feel the impacts of a warmer Pacific Ocean. Here in the U.S., El Niño will likely mean a deluge of rain in some places and a cold, snowy winter in others.
So what does this mean for you? Simply put, it means you should be prepared, regardless of where you live. And with many meteorologists predicting the strongest El Niño EVER, we suggest being prepared for anything.
With this in mind, we carefully curated a list of useful resources designed to help you weather any storm.
Get the facts
What exactly is an El Niño?
El Niños happen when the eastern Pacific Ocean warms up. Based on the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), which sets average surface temps in the Pacific at zero, anything above .05 is considered an El Niño. And anything above 1.5 is considered a strong El Niño.
According to CNN, the current index is 1.0, but it’s been rising for 4 straight months and is predicted to go as high as 2.0, resulting in the strongest El Niño on record.
What kind of weather to expect
That depends on where you live. In a nutshell, the lower half of the U.S. and the Eastern Seaboard should anticipate higher-than-average precipitation and lower-than-average temps. Most of the rest of the states will likely experience average temps and precipitation, and a handful (including Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) will have an unusually mild winter.
For more specifics, check out these maps from the Weather Network.
How to prepare
As we know, however, the weather is notoriously difficult to predict. And with temperatures in the Pacific Ocean already breaking records, we’re heading into unchartered territory this winter.
But don’t panic! Esurance can help you gear up for whatever El Niño has in store. Be ready for rain, hail, sleet, or snow with our Ultimate El Niño Survival Guide.