El Niño finally forms, what does this mean for our weather?

Sections of land are seen missing from coastal properties in Pacifica, Calif. on Jan. 26, 2016. (Photo: Josh Edelson

Better late than never.

After months of promises, infamous climate agitator El Niño finally formed this week, climate scientists announced Thursday.

“Weak El Niño conditions are present and are expected to continue through the spring,” the Climate Prediction Center said.

El Niño is a periodic natural warming of sea water in the tropical Pacific. It is among the biggest influences on weather and climate in the United States and around the world.

It typically brings unusually wet weather across the USA’s southern tier, according to Mike Halpert, deputy director of the prediction center. Already, the weather this winter has generally had an “El Niño flavor” to it, he said, even though it hadn’t officially formed.

Storms that have been slamming into the West Coast this week could be related to El Niño, but that’s far from certain. This week’s storms are courtesy of an “atmospheric river” that’s funneling water vapor from the tropics to the West.

Halpert said the forecast for the next few weeks is for wet weather across the nation, part of which could be chalked up to this El Niño.