Strong El Nino Weather Pattern Expected This Winter In Malibu

November 29, 2023 ·

MALIBU—The city of Malibu is offering guidance to help community members prepare for the predicted El Niño weather patterns and possible damaging weather conditions that could come to the area this winter.

The city reported in a press release that according to an August 2023 ENSO forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a greater than 95 percent chance that El Niño conditions will continue through the 2023-24 winter, and a 66 percent chance of a strong El Niño.

Previous strong El Niños have been characterized by extended periods of high intensity rainfall, triggering heavy runoff, floods, mudslides, debris flow, and landslides both inland and along the coast. Past patterns with El Niños coinciding with high tides have affected coastal areas. NOAA predicts approximately 44 days of high tides during the 2023-2024 winter occurring near the holiday, which highlights the need for El Niño preparedness.

Checklist To Help The Community Prepare For the Winter Season Includes:

-Inspect slopes: Visually inspect all sloped areas for signs of erosion gullying, surface cracks, and slumping. Inspect buildings, patios, retaining walls, and garden walls for signs of cracking or rotation, which may indicate slope movement has occurred. If signs of slope movement are observed, consider contacting a California-licensed geologist or geotechnical engineer for a site inspection.

-Inspect bare ground: Large bare areas may be sources for mudflows during rain. Consider covering or vegetating bare areas before storm season. Consider covering and securing mounds of loose soil or fill material.

-Inspect drains and gutters: Visually inspect and remove debris from retaining wall drains, surface drains, culverts, and gutters before storm season. Storm water runoff should be directed into appropriate drainage control areas to avoid excessive soil saturation.

-Inspect structures: Visually inspect all structures, including seawalls, revetments, and bulkheads, for signs of distress, loss of material, obstructed drainage, or exposed reinforcing steel before storm season and after every rainstorm. If significant problems are observed, consider contacting a California-licensed engineer for maintenance suggestions.

-Inspect Roofs: Visually inspect roofs, or hire a roofing contractor, to check for loose tiles, holes or other signs of distress.

For questions about stability, flooding, mudflows or erosion contact the City Geology staff Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or email mbuilding@malibucity.org.

Free sandbags are available at Los Angeles County Fire Stations. Plastic sandbags are prohibited in Malibu, except for use by emergency response agencies during emergency conditions. It is illegal to remove sand from beaches in Los Angeles County. Sand is crucial for beach habitats. Call Fire Stations for availability of sand and sandbags or use the Los Angeles County sandbag locator website.

-Fire Station #70: 3970 Carbon Canyon Road. 310-456-2513
-Fire Station #71: 28722 W. Pacific Coast Highway. 310-457-2578
-Fire Station #88: 23720 W. Malibu Road. 310-456-2812
-Fire Station #99: 32550 Pacific Coast Highway. 310-457-3706

For forecasted strong El Nino conditions, resources for inland and shoreline properties, and other information, visit the El Niño webpage.

By Trevor

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