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IMD hints at El Nino event from February 2019 and Warmer Summer

  • Category
    Geography
  • Published
    29th Nov, 2018

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has indicated an increased probability of El Nino conditions from February 2019, probably resulting in above-normal summer temperatures.

Issue

Context

  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has indicated an increased probability of El Nino conditions from February 2019, probably resulting in above-normal summer temperatures.
  • Experts have cautioned that an El Nino event occurring early next year could have some impact on the monsoon of 2019 for India.

Background

  • According to the scientists, since October 2018 sea surface temperatures across the east-central tropical Pacific have reached weak El Nino levels.
  • However, the atmosphere has failed to respond to this additional warmth, and hence has not yet coupled to the ocean in a manner typically associated with an El Nino event. For example, the upper level winds, cloud and sea level pressure patterns in the tropical Pacific do not yet reflect El Nino features.
  • Since October, trade winds in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean have briefly weakened to El Nino levels, but have not been consistently weaker than normal.

About

What are El Nino and La Nina events?

  • El Nino is the name given to a slight warming of the surface waters of the Pacific. It is opposite of La Nina, which is a cooling. As the ocean is one of the biggest influences in our weather, both of the phenomena have a dramatic effect on the weather around the globe.
  • El Nino was discovered far earlier than La Nino, as it had a direct impact on the Peruvian fishermen. They noticed that every three to seven years, in the months of December and January, there would be virtually no fish in the seas. As it was noticed around Christmas time, they named this phenomenon El Nino (Spanish for ‘the baby boy’).
  • The strength of the El Nino conditions and its impacts on the weather can vary dramatically.
  • Partly due to its earlier discovery, much more is known and understood about El Nino than La Nina.

El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

  • The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an irregularly periodical variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. It has a major influence on weather patterns over many parts of the world. The warming phase, which is thought to impact India’s southwest monsoon, is known as El Nino, while the cooling phase is La Nina.
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