El Niño ends, onset of La Niña expected soon
MANILA, Philippines – The 2015-2016 El Niño weather phenomenon – one of the most powerful on record – is over, according to the latest advisory of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center released Thursday, June 9.
"El Niño dissipated and ENSO [El Nino Southern Oscillation]-neutral conditions returned during over the past month, as indicated by the expansion of near-to-below average surface temperatures (SST) across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean," the center said.
Neither El Niño nor La Niña will be present during ENSO-neutral conditions.
An El Niño phenomenon comes with unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.
In the Philippines, El Niño has affected the agricultural sector – especially in Mindanao. The most graphic illustration of the weather phenomenon's impact on the sector was the incident in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, in April, when at least two were killed and 116 were wounded after drought-affected farmers held a protest rally to demand help from the government.
Meanwhile, the onset of La Niña is expected as soon as the Northern Hemisphere summer, as indicated by most dynamical models and slightly favored by forecaster consensus.
But many statistical models also favor a later onset time for La Niña – forecasters are leaning toward a weak or borderline moderate La Niña if ENSO-neutral conditions persist through the winter.
"Overall, ENSO-neutral conditions are present and La Niña is favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-17," the Climate Prediction Center said.
In May, the Philippines' state weather bureau PAGASA said there is a 50% chance of La Niña occurring by the end of the year. (READ: PAGASA warns of possible La Niña by end of 2016)
La Niña is a weather phenomenon characterized by unusually cool ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. – Rappler.com