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If the overwhelming majority of climate scientists are correct, our current Southern California weather could still change drastically; sea conditions continue to point to a record El Niño this year, potentially spelling disaster for those commercial property owners who have placed roof maintenance low on their list of priorities during the recent drought years in our region.


El Niño refers to a set of global climate conditions arising from elevated sea temperatures in the Pacific Ocean along the Equator. The rise in sea temperatures pumps huge amounts of heat and moisture into the atmosphere affecting global patterns of air pressure and precipitation.


The last major El Niño, an unusually powerful episode in 1997-98, brought rainfall of more than 200% above normal to California, Nevada and Arizona. In February of 1998 alone, we had four big storms and two small storms, and we got almost a year of rain in one month. That February looked like something that should’ve been spread over the entire winter. Powerful storms hit the coast, triggering destructive landslides and floods.


While that’s a lot of rain that could bring welcome relief to our region’s drought concerns, commercial property owners and property managers who have practiced deferred maintenance should be especially worried about a whole new set of problems. The extraordinary amounts of rain in the ‘97/’98 El Nino winter left many owners stranded with severely leaking roofs and flood conditions inside their properties. To make matters worse, commercial roofers themselves became so flooded with emergency repair requests that many of us were booked as much as four months out.


Right now, this year’s El Niño has performed at moderate strength, says Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, but ocean temperatures indicate it is in fact at historic levels of strength and getting stronger! The 1997-89 El Niño was the powerful on record, and climatologists remain concerned that this year’s event could still turn out to be even worse.


As a property owner or manager, the commercial roofing experts at Emmons urge you to keep the following in mind, to ensure that you’re prepared:


  1. There is still an extreme likelihood of a significant El Niño event occurring this winter. Rain and show are occurring in Northern California at well-above normal levels and could easily shift at any point to do the same in the Southland.
  2. Over the last few years of minimal rainfall and a struggling economy, roof inspections and roof maintenance have been low priorities for many property owners and managers; in many cases it has been years since roofs have been professionally inspected.
  3. During the height of the record rainfall during the ‘97/’98 El Nino, the commercial roofing experts and Emmons and elsewhere were booked three to four months out, even for emergency repairs.
  4. The most important step commercial property owners and managers can take to be prepared for any rainy season, but especially an El Nino season, is a FREE roof inspection by the commercial roofing experts at Emmons, and to have repairs completed as soon as possible.
  5. Don’t wait until it’s too late! There is no cost or obligation for roof inspection. Let our commercial roofing experts help you evaluate your roofing repair and/or maintenance needs and to help you protect against unnecessary damage to your valuable assets.


Major leaks and disruptions don’t need to happen to your or your tenants, and can often be avoided by early detection and minor repairs. Call 909-460-9500 to schedule a FREE roof inspection now by the commercial roofing experts at Emmons.

CONTACT US or call us 1 (844) 894-0877