This El Niño is probably getting stronger in 2016

This El Nino Is Probably Getting Stronger in 2016
This El Nino Is Probably Getting Stronger in 2016

NASA says 2015's exceptionally intense El Niño will likely get stronger in 2016. Based on satellite images, NASA says this El Niño is shaping up to be as strong as the one from 1997, which may have contributed to the Great Ice Storm of 1998.

SEE ALSO: Deadly floods threaten to reach historic levels

NASA says a side-by-side comparison of this year to 1997 shows there's a lot of warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The agency said: "The images show nearly identical, unusually high sea surface heights along the equator in the central and eastern Pacific: the signature of a big and powerful El Niño."

Scientists don't know exactly how El Niño will take shape in the coming months.

But an advisory from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it expects above-average precipitation in the southern U.S. and drier than average conditions in the north.

See more of the effects of El Niño:

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