Strong chance that a new El Niño is forming by the beginning of 2019

El Niño

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An image showing the 2015 El Niño phenomenon with rising temperatures in the Pacific

According to the World Meteorological Organization, there is a 75 to 80% chance that a weak El Niño will form in three months.

The natural event causes temperature changes in the Pacific Ocean and has a major influence on weather conditions around the world.

It is linked to floods in South America and droughts in Africa and Asia.

El Niño events often lead to record temperatures as the heat rises from the Pacific.

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According to the WMO update, sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific have reached low levels of El Niño since October. However, the atmosphere has not yet reacted to the extra heat produced by rising seas.

Scientists have predicted the likelihood of a new event since May this year, with increased confidence.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology now estimates that an El Niño event will begin in December. US forecasters say that there is a 90% chance that the event will begin in January.

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The drought in some places and the floods in many others are related to El Niño

According to WMO models, a full El Niño would likely be between 75 and 80% between December and February 2019.

At this stage, WMO indicates that its forecast for the event ranges from a simple warm-neutral state to a moderate force event, with sea surface temperatures rising between 0.8 ° C and 1, 2 ° C above average.

The chances of a strong event are currently low.

"The El Niño forecasts should not be as powerful as the 2015-2016 event, which was linked to droughts, floods and coral bleaching in different parts of the world," said Maxx Dilley, director of the Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch.

"Even in this case, it can still significantly affect rainfall and temperature regimes in many regions, with significant consequences for the agriculture and food security sectors, as well as for the management of food insecurity. water resources and public health, global temperatures, "he said.

Regarding food security, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has released a report detailing the countries likely to experience food shortages as a result of food insecurity. 39; event.

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