The rainstorm that has soaked California is shown from space in a time-lapse video that highlights the elegant movement of streaming white clouds over the West Coast.
The 36-second animation, using data from NOAA's GOES-West satellite, shows the sweep of storms from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.
Although the storms brought steady, sometimes heavy rain, scientists haven't declared an El Nino -- "not yet," said NASA climatologist Bill Patzert in a news release. The El Nino weather pattern of 1997 and '98 brought drenching storms to the state.
If the storm now dissipating over Southern California were an El Nino, "it would be a weak one," he said. For certain, the storm was a pineapple express of tropical origin, according to the climatologist.
"It is warmer moisture -- like a fire hose aimed at us from the south of Hawaii. This is an event. It is not a pattern."