El Niño Weather Likely to Persist Till March, Affecting Wide Areas of World – UN Agency
New York, Dec 1 2006 1:00PM
A moderate El Niño across the tropical Pacific is expected to persist until at least March, according to the latest
United Nations forecast issued today on the periodic weather pattern that can have repercussions around the world, from
torrential rains and floods in the Americas to droughts and brush fires in Australia and Asia.
The UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said eastern equatorial Africa, already suffering from flooding due to
extremely heavy rainfall, as well as the tropical western Pacific and Indian Oceans and neighbouring lands, are expected
to be affected by the phenomenon, caused by extensive warming of surface waters over the central and eastern equatorial
“Elsewhere, over the coming months, characteristic El Niño climate patterns are now more likely to occur across the
Americas, the tropical Atlantic Basin, parts of Africa and South Asia,” it added.
The impact is already severe in the western equatorial Pacific. The islands there and surrounding land, including
Australia and Indonesia are suffering severe drought.
El Niño conditions are expected to slightly intensify over the next three months, but experts agree that it is unlikely
to exceed the ‘moderate’ category in this period. Developments in the Pacific between March and May will be critical in
determining whether it persists for the rest of next year, WMO said.