El Nino may be back in Singapore in mid-2014

Channel NewsAsia 8 May 14;

KUALA LUMPUR: The United Kingdom Meteorological Office has forecasted a high likelihood of El Nino striking Southeast Asia in the middle of the year.

Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (Awer) president, S Piarapakaran, said the institution, using the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) model, had forecasted a 70 per cent probability of El Nino in Southeast Asia.

The weather phenomenon is linked to dry spells in Southeast Asia.

According to Singapore's National Environment Agency, El Nino occurs every two to seven years and typically lasts about nine to 18 months.

A “very strong” El Nino year in 1997 led to a prolonged dry season in Singapore.

NEA said annual rainfall in Singapore that year was about half of the long-term average and the annual average temperature was 1.4 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.

According to Malaysian news agency Bernama, El Nino could lead to a dry spell lasting about six months for the country.

- CNA/Bernama/xq

El Nino chances exceed 65 pct this summer -U.S. weather forecaster
Chris Prentice PlanetArk 9 May 14;

El Nino chances exceed 65 pct this summer -U.S. weather forecaster Photo: NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) image shows the warming waters of an El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean
Photo: NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab

The chances have increased over the past month that the much-feared El Nino weather phenomenon, which can wreak havoc on global crops, will strike this year, the federal U.S. forecaster said Thursday.

In its monthly report, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, said neutral conditions will prevail through the spring. But the forecaster raised the likelihood of the weather pattern developing over the summer to more than 65 percent.

In April, it said it saw a 50 percent chance of the weather pattern developing by the summer.

Global weather forecasters in recent months have increased the likelihood of El Nino, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, heightening uncertainty in global commodity and energy markets.

To read the full CPC report, click: link.reuters.com/tuv97k

(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Nick Zieminski)