El Niño Update: Event Fizzles, Chances Happening End of the Year Down 65% - U.S. Weather Service
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 8, 2014 12:48 PM EST
The U.S. Climate Prediction Center has said the much anticipated El Niño weather phenomenon has fizzled out in the equatorial Pacific. The chances of it happening in the Northern Hemisphere during autumn and early winter had dropped to 65 per cent, from a previous 80 per cent.
An employee works next to hay coming out of a threshing machine during a harvest of wheat crop in 6 October village, in the Nile Delta province of Al-Baheira, northwest of Cairo May 22, 2014. Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, has bought around 3 million tonnes of local wheat from farmers since the harvest began last month, the supplies minister said on Saturday. The figures are an indication that the government appears likely to meet its aim for local purchases this year. Picture taken May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: AGRICULTURE BUSINESS POLITICS)
Weather experts said they noted a delay on the onset of the El Niño based on computer forecast models. "At this time, the consensus of forecasters expects El Niño to emerge during August-October and to peak at a weak strength during the late fall and early winter," the center said in an updated outlook.
The CPC said in July the El Niño was to occur in summer with a 70 per cent chance.
But over the last month, model forecasts have slightly delayed the El Nino onset, it said.
In July, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said the looming El Niño threat is easing up and will unlikely be a strong event should it strike in 2014.
Although the bureau had then downgraded the event's chances of happening, the weather phenomenon will still happen.
"While the chance of an El Niño in 2014 has clearly eased, warmer-than-average waters persist in parts of the tropical Pacific, and the (slight) majority of climate models suggest El Niño remains likely for spring," the bureau had said.
"Hence the establishment of El Niño before year's end cannot be ruled out. If an El Niño were to occur, it is increasingly unlikely to be a strong event."
El Niño is often associated with wide scale below-average rainfall over southern and eastern inland areas of Australia and above-average daytime temperatures over southern Australia. Similar impacts prior to the event becoming fully established regularly occur.
Occurring every three to five years, El Niño gives heavier rain from southern Brazil to Argentina, while it gives the opposite drier conditions across Southeast Asia and Indonesia.
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