Cedar Rapids hit 51 degrees around mid-afternoon Wednesday, a beautiful 17 degrees above normal. Thursday promises more warmth and possibly even a new record high. Meanwhile, residents of California are being told "all hands on deck" for what's expected to hit their state.

Cedar Rapids is forecast to be in the middle-50's on Thursday, which would fall short of the record as our unseasonably warm late-fall weather continues. Many experts say it's being caused by the warming of the ocean along the equator west of Peru, known as El Nino. Many expect this winter's El Nino to be one of the largest in history and could cause changes in the atmosphere that cause drastic weather events. Our especially warm temperatures and the flooding rains in both Florida and Texas are both believed to be caused by El Nino. California could be next.

Bob Fenton, of the Federal Emergency Management Administration's Southwest District, warned Californians today that a record-setting amount of rain could be coming this winter. Fenton said, "This is not a government solution, but a public-private, all-hands-on-deck solution. It’s important for Californians to take this seriously and understand during these conditions that having a plan [and] supplies is important.”

If you have relatives in California, they can learn more about concerns for specific communities here. They can also click here for tips on preparing for El Nino.

While I'm enjoying the warm fall we've been having, I certainly hope we don't see torrential rains and flooding in California. The nation has seen more than its fair share already this year.

[via LA Times]

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