El Niño Weather May Develop By the End of This Year

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 14:28

The World Meteorological Organization has announced that there is a 70% chance of a recurrence of the El Niño weather event before the end of this year.

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring phenomenon involving fluctuating ocean surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, coupled with changes in the overlying atmospheric circulation. It has a major influence on weather patterns over many parts of the world.

The 2015-16 El Niño was one of the strongest ever recorded, and had an impact on global temperatures, which saw 2016 enter the record books as the warmest year.

This year started with the opposite to El Niño, the so-called La Niña phase. This saw cooler than average sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific.

That has now faded and, according to the WMO models, there's a 70% chance of another El Niño developing by the end of this year.

"WMO does not expect the anticipated El Niño to be as powerful as the 2015-2016 event, but it will still have considerable impacts," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

"The advance prediction of this event will help save many lives and considerable economic losses," he added.

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