Forecasters warn that "Godzilla El Nino" could hit U.S.

Forecasters are warning the West Coast could be hit by what may possibly be the strongest El Niño season on record later this year.

Forecasters with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center told reporters Thursday warming ocean waters nearing North and South America could bring some much-needed rain — along with some other potentially hairy weather — to the region in what one climatologist described as a “Godzilla El Niño”.

An El Niño — meaning in Spanish “the little boy, or Christ child” — is created when the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean warm significantly.

Expected to peak in the late fall or early winter, the annual weather phenomenon may yield more frequent and intense storms than in past seasons, along with an increase in tropical cyclones in the Pacific and heavy rainfall and snowfall.

“If it continues to build this will have a tremendous impact not only on North America, but over the entire planet,” Climatologist Bill Patzert told CBS News. read more