UN sees 70% chance of El Nino event this year

UN sees 70% chance of El Nino event this year

El Nino flood
A local resident wades through water on a street in the "El Indio" settlement on the outskirts of Piura, in northern Peru, on March 23, 2017. (Photo: AFP/Ernesto BENAVIDES)

GENEVA: An El Nino event that could disrupt global weather is likely by the end of what has already been a hot year, the UN said Monday (Sep 10). 

The World Meteorological Organisation forecast "a 70 per cent chance of an El Nino developing by the end of this year," a WMO statement said.

El Nino is triggered by periodic warming in the eastern Pacific Ocean which can trigger drought in some regions, heavy rain in others.

"WMO does not expect the anticipated El Nino to be as powerful as the 2015-2016 event, but it will still have considerable impacts," the statement said.

The organisation sees increased odds of higher surface temperatures in most of Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Africa and along much of South America's coastline.

Interior parts of South America, Greenland, many south Pacific islands and some in the Caribbean were identified as possible exceptions.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas noted that 2018 "is on track to be one of the warmest on record," after especially high temperatures in July and August across several parts of the world.

Source: AFP/ad