2016 likely to be hottest year despite weak La Nina: WMO

A La Nina event may develop in the third quarter of this year, but it is likely to be weak


La Nina which refers to large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, is associated with excess rainfall in India. Photo: AP
La Nina which refers to large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, is associated with excess rainfall in India. Photo: AP

New Delhi: The La Nina event that is expected to develop later this year is likely to be weak and will not compare to the intensity of the recently ended 2015-16 El Nino event, according to World Meteorological Organization. The weather agency for United Nations further added that 2016 is expected to be the hottest year on record despite the cooling effects of the La Nina.

The El Nino which had a major impact on last year’s monsoon season in India, was one of the strongest on record. El Nino, a phenomenon resulting from warming in the Pacific Ocean leading to atmospheric changes, is associated with droughts in India. La Nina which refers to large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, is associated with excess rainfall in India.

A La Nina event may develop in the third quarter of this year, but it is likely to be weak. The strongest recent La Nina was the 2010-11 event and India saw excess monsoon rainfall in both these years.

There is a 50-65% probability that La Nina will develop in the third quarter of 2016, lasting through the remainder of 2016, according to the WMO update. La Nina events historically follow El Nino events, but not always. The 2015-2016 El Nino was one of the strongest on record and, was one the primary factors for record global temperatures and 2015 being declared the hottest year on record.

The first six months of 2016 have been the hottest on record and have surpassed 2015 temperature records by a wide margin.

“This means that 2016 is currently on track to be the hottest year on record even with the development of a La Nina event, which tends to have a cooling impact,” said the update from WMO.

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