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El Nino ending; at least 60 pc chance of La Nina during July-Sept

New Delhi: The 2023/24 El Nino event, which drove record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather around the world, is predicted to transition to La Nina conditions later this year, according to a new update from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The world experienced the warmest April ever and the eleventh consecutive month of record-high temperatures. Sea surface temperatures have been record-high for the past 13 months, according to the WMO.

The WMO said this is happening due to the naturally occurring El Niño — unusual warming of waters in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean — and the additional energy trapped in the atmosphere and ocean by greenhouse gases from human activities.

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Amid a prevailing but weakening El Nino, millions of people in South Asia, including India and Pakistan, endured brutal heat in April and May.

The latest forecasts from the WMO Global Producing Centres of Long-Range Forecasts give equal chances (50 per cent) of either neutral conditions or a transition to La Nina during June-August.

The chance of La Nina conditions increases to 60 per cent during July to September and 70 per cent during August to November.

The probability of El Nino redeveloping is negligible during this time, the WMO said.

While El Nino is associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India, La Nina — the antithesis of El Nino — leads to plentiful rainfall during the monsoon.

Last month, the India Meteorological Department had forecast above normal rain in the monsoon season in India with favourable La Niña conditions expected to set in by August-September.

The monsoon is critical for India’s agricultural landscape, with 52 per cent of the net cultivated area relying on it. It is also crucial for replenishing reservoirs critical for drinking water, apart from power generation across the country.

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