10 Jan 2019

El Nino not eventuating in the Pacific

3:08 pm on 10 January 2019

Pacific weather forecasters say an expected El Nino weather system in the region has not eventuated.

Looking at data from December NIWA's Island Climate Update found that sea surface temperatures have remained above normal for the fourth consecutive month.

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Photo: 123RF

Average subsurface temperatures are also above normal.

But the forecasters say while these are two pre-conditions for El Nino weather, almost all of the atmospheric indicators are under the conventional El Nino thresholds.

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation, to give its proper title, is a natural event that involves fluctuating ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific, which influences weather all over the world.

The 2015-16 El Niño was one of the strongest ever recorded, and had an impact on global temperatures, which saw 2016 enter the record books as the warmest year.

Regional Seasonal Forecast

Below normal rainfall is forecast for Palau, Guam, central Kiribati (Phoenix Islands), New Caledonia, Niue, Samoa, American Samoa, the Society Islands, the northern Cook Islands, the Tuamotu archipelago and the Marquesas.

Normal or below normal rainfall is forecast for the Northern Marianas, Wallis and Futuna and Tonga.

Near normal rainfall for southern Vanuatu.

Above normal rainfall is projected for the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, northern Vanuatu, Nauru, eastern Kiribati (Line Islands) and Western Kiribati (Gilbert Islands), Tuvalu, Fiji and the Austral Islands.

No strong guidance or forecast has been issued for the Federated States of Micronesia, Tokelau, the southern Cook Islands and Pitcairn.