El Nino pattern could emerge by 2018-19 winter

Reuters — The El Nino weather pattern, associated with warmer and wetter weather than usual that may give rise to damaging conditions, could emerge by the 2018-19 Northern Hemisphere winter, with neutral conditions expected to prevail through November this year, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

The last El Nino, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods in 2016.

Historically, milder-than-normal winters and springs are known to occur in Western, northwestern and central Canada during El Nino periods, according to Environment Canada.

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Eastern and Atlantic Canada aren’t known to be “significantly” impacted by El Nino events, though such an event may reduce tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic.

The possibility of a transition to El Nino weather-pattern is nearing 50 per cent by the 2018-19 Northern Hemisphere winter, the U.S. National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast.

El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral conditions are favoured through September-November this year, it added.

ENSO-neutral refers to those periods in which neither El Nino nor La Nina is present, according to CPC.

Last month, the weather forecaster said there was a more than 50 per cent chance of ENSO-neutral conditions prevailing through the Northern Hemisphere summer in 2018.

During ENSO-neutral periods, the ocean temperatures, tropical rainfall patterns and atmospheric winds over the equatorial Pacific Ocean are near the long-term average, according to the CPC website.

Reporting for Reuters by Harshith Aranya and Vijaykumar Vedala in Bangalore. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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