Occurrence of El Niño 2014 Still on Track, Becomes Established by August

By Esther Tanquintic-Misa
June 6, 2014 1:22 PM EST

Occurrence of El Niño 2014 Still on Track, Becomes Established by August

It seems there is really no more stopping an El Niño 2014 occurrence. Latest updates released by weather experts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the U.S.' NOAA point to an El Niño becoming established in the Pacific Ocean by August.


The Climate Prediction Center, an agency of the National Weather Service, in its monthly El Niño forecast discussion, said "forecasters remain just as confident that El Niño is likely to emerge."


It said this year's El Niño has a 70 per cent chance developing by the fall or winter.


However, models showed the looming El Niño could most likely be only of moderate strength on the basis that they have yet to see the atmospheric inter-action necessary to claim this particular weather event will really be a big one.


"We are slightly favouring a moderate strength El Niño. While we are not ruling it out at this point, we are not expecting to see the next great El Nino," Mike Halpert, acting director of the Climate Prediction Centre, said.


"We are on the precipice of actually having it here. The ocean has reached the minimum temperature but we are waiting to see the interaction with the atmosphere," Halpert said. "It is certainly within the realm of possibility that it does become a very strong event but it would take some interaction with the atmosphere that we are not seeing right now."


A statement issued by Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) early this week said surface temperature (SST) in the tropical Pacific Ocean continued to increase steadily since February. SST anomalies or the variance to the long term average now goes beyond +0.5 °C, it said.


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in the meantime likewise said this week that SSTs are above "average across the equatorial Pacific Ocean,"


It noted tropical rainfall is "near average across Indonesia and the tropical Pacific." Moreover, the chance of El Nino "increases during the remainder of the year, exceeding 65 per cent by summer."


The Climate Prediction Center said on Thursday if it pushes through, the El Niño weather pattern will strike during the Northern Hemisphere summer.


Independent weather experts strongly believe the 2014 El Niño will indeed happen, but only moderately.


"We are going to have an El Niño. The question is the strength," Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, was quoted by the Guardian. "It hasn't taken off in the last month the way one might have thought if it was going to be a really major event."

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