GENEVA (AP) -
There’s a strong chance an El Nino weather event will reappear before the
end of the year and shake up climate patterns worldwide, the U.N. weather
agency said Thursday.
The El Nino, a flow
of unusually warm surface waters from the Pacific Ocean toward and along the
western coast of South America, changes rain and temperature patterns around
the world and usually raises global temperatures.
An update Thursday
from the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization puts the odds of El
Nino at 60 percent between June and August, rising to 75-80 percent between
October and December. It said the expected warming would come on top of the
effects of man-made global warming.
“El Nino leads to
extreme events and has a pronounced warming effect,” said WMO
Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “It is too early to assess the precise
impact on global temperatures in 2014, but we expect the long-term warming
trend to continue as a result of rising greenhouse gas concentrations.”
The outlook is for
El Nino to reach peak strength during the last quarter of the year and into
the first few months of 2015 before dissipating.
Ocean temperatures have already warmed to weak El Nino levels, but the
weather event hasn’t fully established itself yet based on readings of other
conditions such as sea level pressure, cloudiness and trade winds, the
Rupa Kumar Kolli,
chief of a WMO division that deals with climate prediction and adaptation,
said the El Nino would likely have moderate strength, but there remains a
wide range of possibilities.
“We are expecting
about the same levels” as the last El Nino from 2009 to 2010, which was the
hottest year on record, he said.