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55 percent probability of \'strong or extraordinary\' El Niño, estimates ENFEN

The Multi-sector Committee in charge of the National Study of El Niño estimates a 55 percent probability that this weather phenomenon will become strong or extraordinary, with similar events to those observed in the summers of 1982-1983 and 1997-1998, during El Niño.

September 3, 2015


The Multi-sector Committee in charge of the National Study of El Niño (ENFEN) estimates a 55 percent probability that this weather phenomenon will become strong or extraordinary, with similar events to those observed in the summers of 1982-1983 and 1997-1998, during El Niño.

In its latest statement, ENFEN also estimates a 95 percent chance that the coastal El Niño phenomenon will continue during the 2015-2016 summer, and a 20 percent probability that the occurrence will be an extraordinary extent. However, there is also a 95 percent likelihood that the event will have a \"weak or greater\" magnitude, which goes to show that it is still all guesswork at this stage.

ENFEN explains that although typical conditions of a strong coastal El Niño event have been noted, there is no guarantee that the conditions will persist with the same intensity until the summer.

It also states that the observed ocean-atmosphere conditions and the forecasts for the central Pacific suggest a high probability that El Niño in this region will have strong or very strong magnitudes. However, it is also possible that global climate models are overestimating these probabilities, as they did in 2012 and 2014, because they are not adequately representing the effects of decadal phases.

\"For a strong or extraordinary El Niño event to develop in the summer, apart from warming, it should be sufficiently high to activate the convective feedback processes in the eastern Pacific,\" the report says.

The probabilities will updated as the system evolves, due to the uncertainty associated with decadal variability, observational and modeling constraints and imperfect scientific knowledge.

The Minister of Production, Piero Ghezzi, said in a press statement that the annual catch quota in Peru will not be affected with the arrival in late December of El Niño, as it has already been covered and 2.9 million tonnes were caught, 30 per cent more than in 2014.

Ghezzi clarified that the anchovy catch made in the second fishing season during the arrival of El Niño, will be additional to the figure achieved, and predicted that they consider an earlier season.

Source: FIS.com

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