The El Niño weather phenomenon, which has destroyed P4 billion worth of Philippine crops, has eased to “moderate levels” and would possibly end by the second quarter, according to Australian climate experts.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest bulletin that temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean, on the surface and below, were observed going down during the past two weeks.
“The Nino 3.4 index [referring to conditions of the ocean and atmosphere in the central and equatorial Pacific], a key El Niño indicator, is now below 2 degrees Celsius [above average for the first time since September 2015], suggesting moderate El Niño levels,” the bureau said.
Also, the agency said a recent temporary weakening of the trade winds had only slightly slowed the decline of El Niño.
Citing historical trends as well as forecasts, the bureau said a period of no El Niño or La Niña, which brings opposite effects, was expected for the second half of this year rather than La Niña.
“Although the 2015-2016 El Niño is weakening, it will continue to influence global climate during the southern hemisphere autumn,” it added.
Source: Inquirer Image: Rappler