El Niño abnormal heat in eastern parts of the Pacific
MUCH WARMER: The red field shows the main footprint of El Niño; abnormal heat in eastern parts of the Pacific. The amount of warm seas are much larger in 2016 than in the same period the previous record year of 1998.

Instead of getting weaker, according to the latest satellite images, El Niño keeps growing. The experts warn that this weather phenomenon can still cause problems.

This year’s El Niño impressed and surprised the people for the weather community. Not only by equaling the previous record (1997 to 1998), but also by retaining forces much longer than previously expected.

Not Losing Strength

Right now, the fresh images of wildfire on social media, are showing how this year’s El Niño has no plans to disappear anytime soon. Weather phenomenon peaked around new year and should – in theory – star losing power slowly but surely into the spring.

The picture shows that the amount of warm seas in the Pacific (El Niño main footprint) is much greater in 2016 than the same period in 1998.

– The picture of El Niño reminds about a crocodile with clenched snout, said NASA’s Bill Patzert in his statement.The crocodile appears to last longer and reach the peak much later than in 1998,” he continued.

– 2016 crocodile definitely has potential, says Patzert referring to El Niño not yet done the magor damage as many had feared.

Waiting for Rain in California

In California, people are waiting for El Niño rains, which generally fall between January and March. So far the rain is absent – much to the frustration of those who are severely affected by long-lasting drought in the area .

The late El Niño can mean that the heavy rain is only a few weeks away, says Patzert.

– Historically, El Niño shows its worst tempter in February and March.

Farther south, on the American continent, this phenomenon is not as welcome.In Peru the authorities prepare for severe floods when the rain eventually hits.

Famine and Drought Threats in Africa

In Africa, the El Niño increasingly manifest  as expected, – or rather as feared. In the east, there have been more rain than normal, while southern parts of the continent are experiencing severe drought.

The United Nation’s WFP is expressing great concern about the situation and said that 14 million people are in danger of starving.

– In a recent statement they say that outlook is alarming.

El Niño typically produces drought across large parts of Australia. This happens during a period from July to December, but this time the worst drought overdue.

Perhaps the reason is to be found in another weather system, which counteracts El Niño. This is due to unusually hot Indian Ocean according to Emily Becker  scientist at NOAA.

– A reminder that the climate system has many loose parts and that certain consequences of El Niño is expected but not guaranteed, says the researcher.



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