Right now, it looks like 2015 will be the hottest year on record by far and that we will be setting 12-month global temperature records through spring 2016. Barring a major volcano or an unexpected flip in the El Niño-La Niña, cycle, 2016 may well top 2015.
The short-term burst of warming in the tropical Pacific (from the monster El Niño) is now combining with the strong underlying long-term global warming trend. So 2015 will likely blow past the record for hottest year just set in 2014. And if history is any guide, 2016 may well top 2015.
NOAA said this week, “The chance of El Niño has decreased to about 65%.” And if we do see one, it’s likely to be either weak or moderate. But you generally need a pretty strong El Niño to generate the kind of precipitation California needs after 3+ years of drought.