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Dud El Niño is Weakening, But Could Still Go Out With a Bang

The promised "second peak" of this year's El Niño still hasn't really shown up, and instead of prolonged torrential rains, Southern California has instead gotten some heavy winds and a freaky-hot February. Now, says the Associated Press, El Niño is "weakening ever so slightly." The World Meteorological Organization says that, as far as El Niño goes, the phenomenon has passed its peak in terms of wind/temperature/pressure conditions. Yes, like an old racehorse, "It's still strong, but it has reached a peak value and it's starting its decline," says a meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma.

Though the best and strongest times of good ol' El Niño might be behind us, there are a few months to go before the effects of the phenomenon's decline catch up to us in the US and across the rest of North and South America—"lag time," the AP calls it. That means that SoCal could still see those big rains and storms this month, and as far as into May. A "still kicking" El Niño is still expected to bring a wetter-than-usual spring to the West (as well as much of the South and some of the East), but there are also generally sweaty predictions for the West Coast and a 50 percent chance that, as the El Niño recedes, his foil La Niña could swoop in with her trademark droughts in the Southwest and rains in the Northeast.

· El Niño is now weakening, but we won't feel effect for months [AP]
· El Niño Gearing Up For 'Second Peak' in Southern California [Curbed LA]
· Why is Los Angeles So Hot Right Now And When Will it Stop?? [Curbed LA]
· How Droughty is Los Angeles Still After Last Week's Big Rains? [Curbed LA]