El Nino Risk Rising for Late Summer24 May 2012
GLOBAL - Improved moisture conditions throughout the southwestern US has lessened the possibility of drought for many farms and ranches in 2012. However, El Nino conditions may emerge over the Pacific Ocean by mid-August affecting Indian rains in some areas of the country in the second half of the June to September monsoon season.
Regions of Southeast Asia and Australia are also likely to be affected by an El Nino, which was reponsible for a decade-long Australian drought, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.
In contrast, the opposite La Nina weather pattern, has brought flooding to Eastern Australia in the past two years.
El Nino conditions, which can parch Asia and bring cooler weather to the US, may develop this year as the Pacific Ocean warms.
El Nino is a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific, the opposite of La Nina.
The El Nino phenomenon occurs every three to seven years, and strong El Ninos can lead to strong weakening of the trade winds that blow west across the Pacific, triggering drought in southeast Asia and Australia and parts of Africa.
While Australia's Bureau of Meteorology seven climate models hint at a return to El Nino, the World Meteorological Organization said last week it still maintains its neutral outlook for the second half of the year.
TheFishSite News Desk