El Niño, where art thou?

After a minor bout of rain refreshed Los Angeles last week, unusually warm weather will return to the area. A storm-producing El Niño phenomenon hasn't really panned out so far.

In fact, the National Weather Service says temperatures in Los Angeles could be 15 degrees above normal this week. Normal is near 70 this time of year.

Temps today are expected to reach the low 80s; tomorrow could see the mid-80s, forecasters said. The NWS described Tuesday's as “near record high temps.”

“Although not at record levels, L.A. will have a series of much warmer days for the new week,” said Maggie Samuhel, a meteorologist for private forecasting service AccuWeather.

A high-pressure system is helping to create our warm weather. It's also keeping the rain-carrying jet stream to the north.

Gusty offshore winds were possible.

After peak warmth on Tuesday, a cooling trend will invade, NWS forecasters said. Temps will still be higher than normal, they said, and dryness will continue to reign.

As for El Niño, the World Meteorological Organization last week said the weather phenomenon, based on abnormally warm waters along the equatorial Pacific, has passed its peak.

“We have just witnessed one of the most powerful ever El Niño events, which caused extreme weather in countries on all continents and helped fuel record global heat in 2015,” said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas. “In meteorological terms, this El Niño is now in decline. But we cannot lower our guard as it is still quite strong …,”

Experts, noting that there have been very stormy March months during El Niño events in 1983 and 1998, say there's still time for El Niño to strike.

LA Weekly