National Weather Office issues El Nino warning

THE National Weather Office yesterday issued a warning for a likely El Nino in Papua New Guinea between June and August this year.

Climate manager Kasis Inape and National Weather Service director Sam Maiha yesterday issued a statement to say that there is at least 70 per cent chance that this will occur.

“It is now likely that an El Nino will develop during the southern hemisphere winter (June to August). It is estimated that there is at least 70 per cent chance that it will occur (information current at April, 8).

At this stage, it is too early to determine the strength of this potential El Nino event.

Source: April 17,2014, 01:08 am-Post Courier 

El Nino events usually peak between December and February before decaying around March to May,” the statement said.

“The tropical Pacific Ocean is currently in a state of rapid transition.

“Waters have warmed considerably n recent weeks and are predicted to continue to warm in the coming months.

“Although El Nino- Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral, surface and sub-surface ocean temperatures have warmed considerably in recent weeks, consistent with a state of rapid transition towards an El Nino. International climate models surveyed indicate continued warming of the central Pacific Ocean in coming months.

“Most models predict sea surface temperatures will reach El Nino thresholds during April to June or the southern winter season.”

In Papua New Guinea El Nino is often, but not always associated with:

Below normal rainfall across large parts of southern region (Western, Gulf, Central, Milne-Bay and Oro provinces initially before extending towards the Highlands and the remainder of the country towards the second half of the year.
The strength of El Nino does not always indicate how much it will influence Papua New Guinea rainfall.

Historically there are examples where events have resulted in widespread drought across large parts of the country while at other times strong events have resulted in relatively modest impacts.

Daytime temperatures tend to be warmer than usual at the expense of cooler nights over the Papuan and Highlands region during El Nino with the possibility of frost occurrences at higher altitudes.

Source: April 17,2014, 01:08 am-Post Courier

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