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El Nino in phase of decay: WMO

The El Nino effect has entered a phase of decay,according the UN weather agency.

Written by Agencies | United Nations | Published: March 31, 2010 2:39 pm

The El Nino effect,an abnormal warming of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean which can cause floods,droughts and erratic weather conditions,has entered a phase of decay,according the UN weather agency.

However,the UN agency said that it could not rule out the possibility that El Nino would persist beyond mid-year.

“The most likely outcome by mid-year 2010 is for the El Nino event to have decayed and near-neutral conditions to be re-established across the tropical Pacific,” the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement.

“Even during the decaying phase of the El Nino expected over the next few months,the conditions associated with it will continue to influence climate patterns at least through the second quarter of the year,” it added.

The weather agency found that the El Nino,which started in June 2009,peaked in November-December 2009 at a moderate level and presently declines in strength have only been modest.

“The ongoing El Nino event continues to have significant and widespread impacts,” it said.

The WMO also underlined that during the peak time sea-surface temperatures especially in the central Equatorial Pacific were at that time 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than normal.

“Overall,this event is considered to have close to or slightly above the typical strength seen in the historical record of El Nino events,” it said.

The latest assessment also stressed that in the coming months climate patterns typical of El Nino will continue both close to and far away from the Pacific.

“Even if the warm sea-surface temperatures in the central and eastern Equatorial Pacific diminish quickly in the next couple of months,since impacts can continue even during the decay phase of an El Niño event.”

The weather body also noted that the period March-June is a particularly difficult time of the year for forecasting tropical Pacific developments.

El Nino was blamed for blizzards in the United States,heatwaves in Brazil,killer floods in Mexico and drought in Ecuador which occurred in February.

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