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La Nina may be on the wane, but could resume later this year

Subramani Ra Mancombu |Vinson Kurian | | Updated on: Jun 21, 2022
A cloudy sky over Palakkad earlier this week. The Australian Bureau of Meterology has moved its outlook back to La Niña watch, which means there is a 50 per cent chance of the event forming later in 2022. 

A cloudy sky over Palakkad earlier this week. The Australian Bureau of Meterology has moved its outlook back to La Niña watch, which means there is a 50 per cent chance of the event forming later in 2022.  | Photo Credit: MUSTAFAH KK

Australian Met Bureau switches outlook into ‘La Nina watch’ mode

The La Nina event in the East Equaorial Pacific has ended, with a majority of indicators currently at neutral levels. However, some model outlooks suggest the cooling phase may resume later in 2022, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said on Tuesday.

The BoM has moved its outlook status back to La Niña watch (on a scale of three) before a full-fledged La Nina is declared. A La Nina watch means there is a 50 per cent chance of the event forming later in 2022. This is approximately double the normal likelihood, the BoM clarified.

Earlier, the Application Laboratory of the Japanese national forecaster, Jamstec, had said that a ‘La Nina-like state’ continues (which is thought to be driving a resurgent phase of the monsoon in India). It predicted that this state would persist until late into the autumn (September to December).

WMO too weighs in

The World Meteorological Organisation’s Global Producing Centers for Long Range Forecasts indicated there is a high probability (about 70 per cent) of La Niña conditions extending into this summer and continuing thereafter, but with slightly reduced probability of 50-60 per cent during July-September 2022. However, there are indications that the probability may increase again slightly. A return to ‘neutral’ conditions is less likely (around 30 per cent) during June-August, while it is very unlikely for El Nino to develop.

Varying global impact

According to the US Climate Prediction Centre, the odds for La Nina to decrease into the late summer (52 per cent chance in July-September 2022), before increasing slightly through the year-end and into early 2023 (58-59 per cent chance).

La Nina is often associated with wet conditions in East Australia, heavy rainfall in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. It scales up rainfall in North-East Brazil, Colombia and northern parts of South America. It is associated with rainfall deficiency in Uruguay and parts of Argentina; dryness along coastal Ecuador and North-West Peru, colder and stormier than average conditions across the North, and warmer and less stormy conditions across the South in the US and Canada; better rain in southern Africa and deficient in Somalia and eastern Kenya.

Published on June 21, 2022
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