NASA says Godzilla El Nino will be worse than all previous El Ninos.

THEY are calling it the Godzilla.

An El Nino weather pattern so destructive that it will surpass all previous El Ninos.

And while there is still some debate as to how fierce this event will be, there is one thing experts are sure of — it’s already happening.

Since March scientists and meteorologists have been monitoring sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean and in May, agreed the world was in the midst of an El Niño.

But this declaration was a little earlier than usual, (El Ninos normally occur between June and November) prompting Australian authorities to predict back then that this would be an intense event.

A few months on, NASA is now saying the 2015 El Niño has the potential to be the most powerful on record.

And the space agency’s climatologists are claiming the disruptive weather pattern will cause so much rain that it will end the severe drought in California.

“This definitely has the potential of being the Godzilla El Niño,” Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge told The LA Times.

“Everything now is going to the right way for El Niño. If this lives up to its potential, this thing can bring a lot of floods, mudslides and mayhem.”

According to experts, this year’s event is already on track to be stronger than the El Niño from 1997 which brought heavy rainfall to Southern California during its winter and twice as much snow in the Sierra Nevada.

But it also caused widespread flooding in the region.

In early 1998, the heavy rainfall not only led to flooding but deadly mudslides.

17 people died and more than half a billion dollars worth of damage was caused. Downtown LA received almost a year’s worth of rain in a month, The LA Times reported.

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A still of NASA data showing the weather patterns indicating El Niño for 1997.

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A still of NASA data showing the weather patterns indicating El Niño for 2015

So what is an El Niño?

It’s a warming of sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean that disrupts weather patterns across the Pacific and can cause a corresponding cooling of the ocean in the western Pacific and around Northern Australia

Every few years, the winds shift and the water in the Pacific Ocean gets warmer than usual.

The resulting El Niño changes weather worldwide, mostly affecting the US.

But it can also affect Australia.

Australia experienced one of its worst droughts during a weak El Niño in 2006—07, but the strongest event, the El Niño in 1997—98, only had a modest impact on Australian rainfall.

The last El Niño, five years ago, also triggered monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the US, heatwaves in Brazil and killer floods in Mexico.

This current pattern is now being blamed for drought conditions in parts of the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia, just like in 1997-98.

Will the big one hit?

For this year’s El Niño to truly rival its 1997 counterpart, there still needs to be “a major collapse in trade winds from August to November as we saw in 1997,” Mr Patzert said.

“We’re waiting for the big trade wind collapse. If it does, it could be stronger than 1997. There’s always a possibility these trade winds could surprise us and come back.”

However he also concedes it also might not happen.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Centre, said a big El Niño “guarantees nothing”.

“At this point there’s no cause for rejoicing that El Niño is here to save the day,” he added.

California’s state climatologist Michael Anderson told AAP that only half the time when there have been big El Ninos has there been meaningfully heavy rains.

Mr Halpert said California would need three time its normal rainfall to balance out the drought, which he believed was unlikely.

Despite that he also believes this El Niño was on track to be a record-setter because of incredible warmth in the key part of the Pacific in the last three months.

He said the current El Niño is likely to rival those from 1997-1998, 1982-83 and 1972-73 and the NOAA, on a blog, has labelled it the “Bruce Lee” of El Ninos.

NASA believes it will be more powerful than previous events according to its satellite measurements.

And Mr Patzert believes because it is likely to cause mudslides and other mayhem, using Godzilla to describe it was more appropriate.

When will it hit?

According to the experts, they are predicting the El Niño to peak in the late fall (Australian spring) or early winter (Australian summer).