El Nino, La Nina 'unlikely to make an appearance in 2013'

June 26, 2013
Children play in a water fountain to cool down in Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia in September 11, 2009. The Pacific Ocean is unlikely to see either a warming El Nino climate phenomenon or its cooling La Nina opposite number through the end of the year, the UN's weather agency said

The Pacific Ocean is unlikely to see either a warming El Nino climate phenomenon or its cooling La Nina opposite number through the end of the year, the UN's weather agency said Wednesday.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said forecasts showed that Pacific were set to remain neutral through the rest of the year, although "a slight chance of La Nina or El Nino development remains."

During the past year, indicators in the tropical Pacific, including ocean temperatures, sea level pressure and cloudiness, indicate that neither of the climate patterns has been present, it said.

In the first two months of this year, did approach "a borderline La Nina level," WMO said, adding though that "the ocean-atmosphere system as a whole did not remain in a La Nina state for long enough to be considered a weak La Nina event."

The UN agency said less than a quarter of the it surveys predicted weak La Nina conditions between June and September, while less than one fifth of them expected to see El Nino develop before the end of 2013.

The two phenomena are significant factors in the fluctuations of the world climate.

El Nino occurs every two to seven years, when the trade winds that circulate surface water in the tropical Pacific start to weaken.

The outcome is a major shift in rainfall, bringing floods and mudslides to usually arid countries in western South America and drought in the western Pacific, as well as a change in nutrient-rich that lure fish.

It last paid a visit from June 2009 to May 2010.

El Nino is often followed by a return swing of the pendulum with La Nina, which is characterised by unusually cool in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, and which was last declared over in April 2012.

The two climate patterns are closely watched by scientists, who say that while they are not caused by climate change, rising caused by global warming may affect their intensity and frequency.

WMO also stressed Wednesday that the two were "not the only factors that drive global climate patterns," pointing for instance to the local climate impact of a "recently developed dipole pattern of warmer than average sea surface temperature in the eastern Indian Ocean and colder than average temperatures in the west."

Explore further: La Nina likely to develop in coming months: UN weather body

Related Stories

La Nina caused global sea level drop

October 29, 2012

The 2011 La Niña was so strong that it caused global mean sea level to drop by 5 millimeters (0.2 inches), a new study shows. Since the early 1990s, sea level has been rising by about 3 millimeters (0.1 inches) per year, ...

Recommended for you

What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

August 27, 2015

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal ...

Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton

August 27, 2015

Each spring, powerful dust storms in the deserts of Mongolia and northern China send thick clouds of particles into the atmosphere. Eastward winds sweep these particles as far as the Pacific, where dust ultimately settles ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2013
That's right, y'all.

And when one or the other does get around to developing, you can expect it to persist for an inordinately long time.

This La Nada is just a big wobble between extremes as all this added heat forces the system to a new --though still temporary-- equilibrium.

What will be truly surprising is if the Nino/Nina redevelops prior to this time NEXT year.

If I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.