This year's El Niño is shaping up to be a whopper — potentially surpassing the one in 1997, which was the strongest on record, the National Weather Service says.

Computer models are predicting a strong El Niño, or warming in the Pacific, that will peak in the late fall or early winter. Climatologists say there's a greater than 90 percent chance that El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16 and around an 85 percent chance it will last into early spring 2016.

If this lines up to its potential, this thing can bring a lot of floods, mudslides and mayhem in the West and Southwest. It also means a much colder and snowier than normal winter for the Midwest and Northeast.

Great!

npr.org