US weather forecaster NOAA predicts 50% chance of El Nino occurring this year

Scientists at NOAA see chances of El Nino conditions occurring this year, but not to the point of raising an El Nino watch


The India Meteorological Department (IMD) was silent in its forecast earlier this month about the El Nino impact on the northeast monsoon but said weak El Nino conditions may develop at the end of September. Photo: Hindustan Times
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) was silent in its forecast earlier this month about the El Nino impact on the northeast monsoon but said weak El Nino conditions may develop at the end of September. Photo: Hindustan Times

New Delhi: The US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a 50% chance of the El Nino occurring later this year, suggesting the possibility of excess rains in India during October-December northeast monsoon.

NOAA forecasters said in their El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) update that neutral conditions will continue through spring, following which there is a 50% chance of the El Nino occurring, but not to the point of raising an El Nino watch.

El Nino is a weather condition which develops due to excessive warming of the Pacific Ocean, disrupting the pattern of the June-to-September southwest monsoon and often leading to drought-like conditions in India.

During the El Nino years, however, the October-December northeast monsoon brings normal or above-normal rains.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) was silent in its forecast earlier this month about the El Nino’s impact on the northeast monsoon but said weak El Nino conditions may develop at the end of September.

El Nino-like conditions last occurred in 2014 when the country received 12% excess rain during the northeast monsoon season but 22% less-than-normal rains during the southwest monsoon.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) raised an El Nino watch last week, while predicting a 50% chance of El Nino occurring later this year.

Last month, Japan’s Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC ), too, predicted the occurrence of El Nino in the later part of this year.

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