Date
23 July 2017
El Niño parched farmlands in many parts of Asia and the Pacific. Photo: Creative Commons/William Warby
El Niño parched farmlands in many parts of Asia and the Pacific. Photo: Creative Commons/William Warby

El Niño may make a comeback as Australia sees Pacific warming

El Niño, a weather pattern in the Pacific that is blamed for devastating droughts in the region, is likely to make a comeback later this year, forecasters said.

Climate models indicate the central Pacific Ocean will probably warm over coming months, suggesting neutral conditions or El Niño are the most likely scenarios for the southern hemisphere’s winter-spring period, Bloomberg reports, citing Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

Five models show El Niño thresholds may be reached by mid-to-late winter, the bureau said on its website. Australia’s winter starts in June.

The 2015-16 El Niño was the strongest since the record event of 1997-98.

The pattern reduced rainfall in the Indian monsoon, parched farmlands, and curbed production of cocoa in Ivory Coast, rice in Thailand and coffee in Indonesia.

India’s Skymet Weather Services Pvt. said last week that El Niño showed signs of resurfacing in coming months.

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is set to remain neutral through summer and autumn, according to the Australian weather bureau.

Model outlooks that span the southern hemisphere autumn tend to have lower accuracy and forecasts beyond May should be used with some caution, it said.

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RA/CG

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