La Nina risks increase, to detriment of E. Africa: UN

Sep 01, 2011
Carcasses of livestock are pictured north east of Nairobi, Kenya, during the region's prolonged drought in June 2011. There is a 50 percent chance the climatic condition known as La Nina -- which is associated with droughts in East Africa -- will return this year, the UN weather agency said Thursday.

There is a 50 percent chance the climatic condition known as La Nina -- which is associated with droughts in East Africa -- will return this year, the UN weather agency said Thursday.

"We are increasing the probability of La Nina from 25 to 50 percent," Rupa Kumar Kolli, a climate expert at the said, explaining that the rise was due to recent temperature observations in the Pacific.

"La Nina is associated with in east Africa. The last La Nina situation was believed to have caused the drought condition in the greater Horn of Africa," he told reporters, referring to the La Nina event which ended in May.

He however stressed that meteorological predictions were difficult to make and depended on a variety of local conditions.

"And even if a La Nina situation reemerges, it is very likely it will be a very weak La Nina event," Kolli explained.

Over 12 million people across the Horn of Africa are reeling from the region's worst drought in decades, which led UN in July to declare the first famine this century.

According to a WMO press statement, La Nina is characterised by "unusually cool in ... the central and eastern tropical Pacific."

The was blamed for extremely heavy downpours in Australia, southeast Asia and sSouth America over late 2010 and early 2011, the WMO said in May.

Although the ocean temperatures in the Pacific leveled to their long-term, or "neutral" conditions that month, "observations during recent weeks indicate a drift toward the cool side ... in terms of surface as well as subsurface ," WMO said today.

"If this cooling persists ... for another few weeks then we will be going into another la Nina situation," Kolli said.

"For (the Horn of Africa), this can be understood as a cause for additional alert," Kolli added.

Explore further: Study shows air temperature influenced African glacial movements

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

La Nina weather pattern to last for months: UN agency

Jan 25, 2011

The weather pattern behind floods and extreme conditions in Australia, Asia, Africa and South America is one of the strongest ever and could last for four more months, the UN weather agency said Tuesday.

La Nina strengthens: WMO

Oct 11, 2010

The disruptive La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific basin should strengthen over the next four to six months, heralding stronger monsoons and more hurricanes, the UN weather agency said on Monday.

La Nina outlook is easing says UN weather agency

May 23, 2011

La Nina, the disruptive weather pattern behind floods and droughts, is easing and there are no signs suggesting a resurgence in the coming months, the UN weather agency said on Monday.

U.N. meteorologist predicts cooler summer

Apr 04, 2008

A U.N. meteorologist says the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific will likely mean slightly lower temperatures across the world this year.

Recommended for you

Image: Grand Canyon geology lessons on view

3 hours ago

The Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is a favorite for astronauts shooting photos from the International Space Station, as well as one of the best-known tourist attractions in the world. The steep walls of ...

First radar vision for Copernicus

3 hours ago

Launched on 3 April, ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has already delivered its first radar images of Earth. They offer a tantalising glimpse of the kind of operational imagery that this new mission will provide ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

First radar vision for Copernicus

Launched on 3 April, ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has already delivered its first radar images of Earth. They offer a tantalising glimpse of the kind of operational imagery that this new mission will provide ...

Image: Grand Canyon geology lessons on view

The Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is a favorite for astronauts shooting photos from the International Space Station, as well as one of the best-known tourist attractions in the world. The steep walls of ...

Book offers simplified guide to shale gas extraction

The new book, "Science Beneath the Surface: A Very Short Guide to the Marcellus Shale," attempts to offer a reader-friendly, unbiased, scientific guide needed to make well-informed decisions regarding energy ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...