And it looks like the winner in the “accurately predict the next El Niño event” sweepstakes has been awarded to: Japan. At least that’s the consensus in the mainstream media. (Never mind that the Americans actually saw it forming in March even if they predicted it to be weak. The official warning came on Friday.)
Scientists in Japan claimed that 2015 would be the year that finally yielded an actual El Niño, and it now looks like that is happening. Since January, Asian farmers have seen little to no rain. Dry conditions have also hit East Australia. These are tell tale signs of the phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean where a wide trench of warm water parks to the west of South America travelling the width of the body of water and hangs out for a while.
Warnings of El Niños have come fast and furious from the American National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) over the last few years with no real materialization of the event until this year. According to a scathing article from Der Spiegel it seems that numerous malfunctioning buoys are to blame. However, that has not stopped scientists from other countries in making their own pronouncements.
Scientists in Australia, India, and Japan have called this El Niño a major one. The word being used overseas is “substansive.”
“This is a proper El Nino effect, it’s not a weak one,” David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology, told reporters [of the BBC].
“You know, there’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event.”
That means weather disruption all around the Pacific Ocean.
The last El Niño five years ago was linked with poor monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the United States, heatwaves in Brazil and extreme flooding in Mexico.
Actually in the United States, an El Niño produces milder, more even temperatures in the winter for much of the country. It’s the neutral years when we get the big snow storms in the Midwest. Only the western mountain ranges get more snow when the Child visits. El Niños also produce a lot more rain, especially in California where right now they could use it.
In any event, it looks like we have an official El Niño. Can’t wait for the climate change pronouncements.