El Niño Is On Its Way

When the Pacific Ocean warms in 2014, the weather will get weird

For many Americans, 2013 ended with an unusually bitter cold snap. Late November and December saw early snow and bone-chilling temperatures in much of the country, part of a year when—for the first time in two decades—record-cold days will likely turn out to have outnumbered record-warm ones. But the U.S. was the exception: November was the warmest ever globally, and the provisional data indicates that 2013 is likely to have been the fourth-hottest year on record.

Enjoy the snow now, because chances are good that 2014 will be even hotter—perhaps the hottest year since records have been kept. Thatís because, scientists are predicting, 2014 will be an El Niño year.

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