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Blob back in BC

"The blob" is back.

No, not the 1958 drive-in, sci-fi classic creature from the movie starring Steve McQueen. 

Canadian meteorologists have dubbed a recurring swath of warm water off B.C.'s coast the blob.

Environment Canada's Bobby Sekhon says the phenomenon was first noticed in 2013. "We've had some advancements ... in sensing technology and satellite improvements, so we're not really sure how new the phenomenon is, but we know it varies in strength and this year it has arrived again."

Sekhon says it has been setting up for several months and is a result of a warmer than usual summer and light winds. "Basically, it's when sea surface temperatures in the northern Pacific are above normal. Also, with the warm air, there have been light winds, which means there hasn't been a lot of mixing. Which brings up cool water from the deep ocean and normalizes the temperatures."

Environment Canada data indicates the ocean is as much as 2 C warmer than normal in some parts.

Sekhon says the weather is expected to shift next week, bringing stormy, more seasonal conditions to the coast and wet, cooler temperatures to the Interior.

There is no real data, at least from Environment Canada, on how these warmer temperatures impact sea life, but it could mean a warmer than normal winter is on the way.

"In terms of weather, this can often mean milder temperatures for B.C. and with El Nino setting up, this will likely mean a warmer winter for our region."

El Nino is is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, including off the coast of South America.



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