California Drought Dries Up Bay Area Reservoirs
A car sits in dried and cracked earth of what was the bottom of the Almaden Reservoir on Jan. 28, 2014 in San Jose, Calif.  Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Prepare for El Niño, UN Weather Agency Warns

Jun 26, 2014

There's a real risk that weather event El Niño will occur before the year's end, the U.N.'s weather agency has said.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a statement saying there's a 60% chance of El Niño occurring between June and August. This likelihood increases to 75-80% from October to December.

Many governments have already begun preparing for El Niño's arrival, which can be devastating. The event starts as a body of warm water developing in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. The water then flows towards the western coast of South America setting off a chain of weather events globally.

El Niño can result in droughts or floods in particular regions and usually has the overall effect of raising global temperatures, on top of man-made global warming. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud commented: " We remain vulnerable to this force of nature but we can protect ourselves by being better prepared.”

Many governments are believed to have begun planning for El Niño. India is expected to experience weaker monsoons whilst Australia may suffer terrible droughts. South America, by contrast, usually falls victim to widespread floods.

Experts believe that the Pacific, which has already warmed to weak El Niño levels, will continue to increase in temperature over the coming months, peaking during the last quarter of 2014 and dissipating after the first few months of 2015.

Thailand Floods 2011
The water rising in Pathum Thani, Thialand while people try to adapt to a new day-to-day routine without basic facilities on Oct. 29, 2011.Roland Neveu—LightRocket/Getty Images
Thailand Floods 2011
Fruto Garcia walks on the ground cracked by drought in the Las Canoas Lake, Nicaragua on April 8, 2010. The lack of rain caused by the El Nino meteorological phenomena decreased water level in Las Canoas Lake, located in the center of Nicaragua, affecting approximately eight thousand people who live in the surrounding areas.
A fisherman makes maintenance works on h
Cattle gather on a strip of dry land in low-lying areas of the Bolivian Amazon, after heavy rains from the El Nino weather phenomenon on Feb 22, 2007 in Beni, Bolivia. The rains affected 350,000 people, destroyed valuable agriculture and killed 23,000 cattle.
A luxury home in Laguna Niguel Calif. slips down a hillside eroded on March 19, 1998 by heavy El Nino generated rains. Two homes and seven condominiums have been destroyed in the slide and several more were threatened with destruction.
A resident grieves while sitting by the ruins of her neighbor' house s on March 3, 1999 after it collapsed killing one person during a landslide triggered by recent torrential rains. Some 28 people have died in Sao Paulo since the beginning of 1999 as a direct consequence of the disastrous weather caused by the weather phenomenon known as "La Nina."
Australia Suffers Worst Drought In Years
APTOPIX Colombia Floods
Aerial view of a flooded area in Trinida
Car Buried by Mud
Ecuadorean Farmer Wenseslao Plaza, rests on his living room furniture in flood waters in Milagro Mar..
Wildfire rips through a forest surrounding the village of Ixtacamaxtitlan in the Northern Sierra of ..
A worker carries a sack of rice inside the National Food Authority Warehouse in Quezon City, the Philippines on Aug. 16, 2010. Farm production in the country went down 2.59 percent in the first half due to the El Nino phenomenon,
Man Sitting on Washed Out Road
Flooded Nepena River
The water rising in Pathum Thani, Thialand while people try to adapt to a new day-to-day routine without basic facilitie

Roland Neveu—LightRocket/Getty Images
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