UN sees 70% chance of El Nino event this year

UN sees 70% chance of El Nino event this year

Honduran Tolupan natives and ladino people, receive food donations from the government at the Montana de la Flor, in Francisco Morazan department, Honduras on September 01, 2018. - At least 600 families from five different indigenous communities are facing starvation due to the loss of their crops, after the sever droughts caused by the El Nino climate phenomenon. AFP

An El Nino event that could disrupt global weather is likely by the end of what has already been a hot year, the UN said Monday.

The World Meteorological Organisation forecast "a 70 percent chance of an El Nino developing by the end of this year," a WMO statement said.

El Nino is triggered by periodic warming in the eastern Pacific Ocean which can trigger drought in some regions, heavy rain in others.

"WMO does not expect the anticipated El Nino to be as powerful as the 2015-2016 event, but it will still have considerable impacts," the statement said. The organisation sees increased odds of higher surface temperatures in most of Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Africa and along much of South America's coastline.

Interior parts of South America, Greenland, many south Pacific islands and some in the Caribbean were identified as possible exceptions.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas noted that 2018 "is on track to be one of the warmest on record," after especially high temperatures in July and August across several parts of the world.