El Nino impacts likely through winter, into spring

A Hawaii County firefighter monitors a brush fire. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file)

A partially bleached cauliflower coral is pictured at Kua Bay. Formally the state’s most abundant shallow water species, which made it more susceptible to the thermal stress that caused the bleaching, cauliflower coral was nearly wiped out following the 2015 bleaching event. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — There’s a high probability an El Nino will form and persist through the winter and spring, bringing with it threats to corals and farming concerns as well as an increased risk of wildfires.