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SAN DIEGO — The water temperature along the equator in the Pacific Ocean is cooling off, which means the El Niño weather phenomenon and its anticipated storms in Southern California are fading fast.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service are baffled as to why the predicted big rains stayed away.

“The scientific research community is going to try and figure out why the precipitation  didn’t materialize much like ’97 through ’98 and ’83,” said Philip Gonsalves with the National Weather Service.

Gonsalves said they are now seeing the La Niña effect building in Pacific and predict dryer weather and fewer storms this coming winter and into 2017.