Australian Bureau of Meteorology sees 70% chance of El Nino this year
Commodity Online | March 22 2019
UPDATED 11:25:02 IST

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Australia’s weather office has warned that there is a 70% chance of El Nino climate cycle forming towards the second half of this year, a forecast that does not augur well for the monsoon season in India.

The weather phenomenon, which is associated with the warming of sea surface temperatures over Pacific Ocean, is considered to be detrimental to the season which lasts from June to September and during which India receives around 70% of its annual rainfall from the southwest monsoon.

“The chance of El Nino developing in 2019 has increased to approximately 70%, around triple the normal likelihood,” the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday, upgrading its outlook to ‘alert’ from ‘watch’ mode.

The revision, from 50% probability predicted by the bureau in its previous forecast, comes as most of the international climate models suggest increased probability of El Nino forming around June this year. All but one of the eight surveyed climate models predict sea surface temperatures will remain above El Niño thresholds for April and June, and six models forecast temperatures above the threshold during August.

Indian weather forecasters, however, do not expect El Nino to impact monsoon rainfall in the country this year. The India Meteorological Department said in a forecast this month that weak El Nino conditions are likely to persist till May and weaken thereafter.

Independent weather forecaster Skymet Weather Services had said in its preliminary monsoon outlook issued in February that the country is likely to witness normal monsoon rainfall this year and probability of El Nino formation is expected to reduce as the season progresses.


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