Forecasters Warn of New El Niño

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 8, 2009 1:26 PM CDT
A chart of ocean temperatures during the last strong El Nino in 1997.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – A new El Nino could be approaching. Sea-surface temperatures have been warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean, suggesting the potential for the development of the El Niño climate phenomenon in the next three months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

El Niño conditions are associated with increased rainfall across the east-central and eastern Pacific and with drier than normal conditions over northern Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In an El Niño year there tend to be more Eastern Pacific hurricanes and fewer Atlantic hurricanes. Water below the sea surface has been warmer than normal, NOAA said, and warm conditions both on the surface and below normally precede the development of an El Niño.