What to expect when ‘Super El Nino” is about to fry Australia
- El Nino is expected to be a’really strong’ event this year
- The weather will likely be hotter and dryer
- Increased risk of bushfires, coral bleaching
Meteorologists have found that Australia is likely to experience a “super El Nino” this year. The warm climate pattern will be’very probable’ after three consecutive la Ninas, which resulted mild summers.
Ken Kato, a meteorologist with Early Warning Network, said that this El Nino wouldn’t be the usual garden variety either.
‘Super El Nino’ is not an official term, but it appears that the El Nino at this point will be very strong,’ Mr Kato said to Today.
What makes this El Nino different from others is if it becomes as powerful as predicted.
It will likely develop this winter and last through the spring, possibly until the early summer of this year.
El Ninos, according to Mr Kato, can lead to drier conditions than normal in large areas of eastern Australia and northern Australia. This often leads to daytime temperatures that are warmer than usual.
He said that it also increased fire and weather.
These are the types of weather conditions which increase the risk that bushfires will spread rapidly.
It also increases frost risks, increases the coral bleaching risk in the Great Barrier Reef, and often causes fewer tropical storms on average.
El Nino is the warm phase, or ‘little boy,’ of the El Nino Southern Oscillation. It occurs when the sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean’s central and eastern regions rises above average.
El Nino, on the other hand, is associated for many months with warming of the tropical Pacific in its central and eastern regions. La Nina however is associated with a period of sustained cooling.
El Nino/La Nina has a strong influence on the climate variability of Australia.
Last week, the US Climate Prediction Centre reported that there is a 90% chance that a moderate El Nino will occur in the next few months. It’s also likely that it will continue into summer.
There is currently a 55% chance of an El Nino strong, which is up 15% from last month.
The event is likely to develop, but there’s still a 5-to-10% chance it won’t. However, its strength and predictability will be clearer over the next few months.