The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization announced there is a 70 to 80 percent chance that El Niño will develop by February and impact the world’s weather in 2019. Although the forecast El Niño, which causes extreme weather-related events around the world, isn’t projected to be as powerful as the one in 2015 and 2016, weather experts warn it will still have important consequences to the world, EcoWatch reported.
This developing El Niño is likely to make 2019 another unusually hot year.
“The forecast El Niño is not expected to be as powerful as the event in 2015-2016, which was linked with droughts, flooding and coral bleaching in different parts of the world,” Maxx Dilley, director of WMO’s Climate Prediction and Adaptation branch, said in a press release. “Even so, it can still significantly affect rainfall and temperature patterns in many regions, with important consequences to agricultural and food security sectors, and for management of water resources and public health, and it may combine with long-term climate change to boost 2019 global temperatures.”
El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) naturally occur every two to seven years and impacts global weather patterns, usually causing a rise in temperatures. The natural phenomenon involves “fluctuations of ocean surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, coupled with changes in the overlying atmospheric circulation,” a press release reported.
According to WMO’s global seasonal climate update for December 2018 through February 2019, which is in its trial phase:
A tilt of the odds towards above-normal surface-air temperature is forecast in most of Asia, Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia, the Indonesian archipelago, and South America. Exceptions include portions of mainly southern South America, much of southeastern North America, parts of northwestern Europe and part of south-central Asia. Most of the regions with above-normal tendencies also saw above-normal temperatures during August-October 2018.
An enhanced probability of below-normal precipitation is predicted in the Caribbean, central America, part of northern South America, the offshore islands of southeast Asia, the southern part of the Indonesian archipelago, some south Pacific islands, portions of southwest Africa and eastern equatorial Africa, subtropical southwest coastal South America and southern South America.
Above-normal precipitation is favored in part of southern North America, part of southeast South America, part of northwest North America, central and northern Asia, part of southwest Asia, part of the eastern Maritime Continent, and part of Europe. Near-normal precipitation is favored in parts of interior northern tropical Africa.
While climate change isn’t directly tied to ENSO, scientists said there is a chance the world will experience them more frequently with the continuous warming of our planet.
The WMO said it will “continue to closely monitor changes in the state of ENSO over the coming months.”