El Niño Blamed For Weather Woes Around Globe

Weather patterns related to this season's "El Niño" — now tied as the strongest on record — have been felt across the country in the form of record breaking warmth across the Midwest and Northeast, the deadly tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest and Southeast, and now the conveyor belt of storms slamming into southern California.

But the El Niño effect isn't limited to the United States — it's a worldwide phenomenon.

In South America, for example, heavy rains are to blame for some of the worst flooding in 50 years for parts of Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

And across the Atlantic, meteorologists in the United Kingdom have linked several strong winter storms to El Niño, including the destructive storms Desmond and Frank that caused catastrophic flooding and several deaths.

More than 100,000 fires burning in Indonesia are choking the population with a thick smoke. Ignited every year, the fires are a way to produce palm oil, but a crippling drought attributed to El Niño has stricken the region.

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