NOAA: Weak El Niño has arrived

Average sea surface temperature due to El Niño 2015 (Image: NOAA)

The ocean-atmospheric phenomenon El Niño has finally arrived to the central Pacific Ocean after a long anticipation, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Its arrival will be marked by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures near the equator.

“Based on the persistent observations of above-average sea surface temperatures across the western and central equatorial Pacific Ocean and consistent pattern of sea level pressure, we can now say that El Niño is here,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, and ENSO forecaster.

The exact impacts El Niño can cause in weather pattern remain unknown. In former appearances, the phenomenon has produced heavy rainfall, however “this El Niño is likely too late and too weak to provide much relief for drought-stricken California,” added Halpert.

NOAA scientists will continue to monitor the situation and will issue its next monthly update on April 9.  

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