What is interesting is the speculation this may become the strongest El Nino ever recorded. The record goes to the 1997/98 event which reached an ONI of 2.3. As we recently discussed, it had a devastating effect worldwide.
But, there is something different about this event. There is a huge mass of warm water in the eastern Pacific west of the U.S. west coast. This image shows the El Nino warm waters along the equator, but also the North Pacific Blob. (Red indicates warmer than normal and blue indicates cooler than normal).
That North Pacific Blob was not there in 1997. What effect will this have on our current event? No one seems to know. What we do know is that for every area that for every area that gets increased rainfall, some other area will see a decrease.