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'Weak' El Nino will still limit summer crop rainfall despite alert stand-down

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The latest El Nino may not be on its death bed after all, Marex Spectron said, viewing that the weather pattern may have legs yet in a “weak” form, and contrasting with analysis by Australian meteorologists.

 

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday, saying that “the immediate likelihood of El Niño developing has passed”, stood down to “inactive”, from “ El Nino watch”, its rating on the weather pattern.

 

The bureau said that “the tropical Pacific Ocean is more likely than not to remain in a… neutral phase over the coming months” concerning conditions suggesting an El Nino or its counterpart, a La Nina.

 

However, Marex Spectron meteorology specialist Giacomo Masato said it was too early yet to declare the latest iteration of El Nino as over, citing the prospect of further warmth in Pacific surface water temperatures.

 

 

"Conditions remain fluid"

 

 

“We are going to have an El Nino over the next three months,” Mr Masato said, albeit adding that it did not look remaining in a strong form.

 

“We are looking at a weak El Nino.”

 

He added to Agrimoney that, while the Bureau of Meteorology had lowered its alert, other forecasters such as the US-based Climate Prediction Center were more cautious over calling an end.

 

"Conditions will remain fluid over the next month," he said.

 

 

Impact on rainfall

 

 

As for the weather anomalies likely to be caused, for North America - which has been struggling with unusually wet weather, there was the threat of further wetness for the western Midwest, but drier conditions elsewhere.

 

Central America was likely to see dry conditions, with rains perhaps 15-20% below average levels, affecting the producers of coffee, and a similar deficit in Indian with the knock-on impact on the world’s largest sugar producing region.

 

Mr Masato said India would typically expect to see rainfall of around 300 millimetres a month, although the model predicted a shortfall of up to 50 millimetres because of the weather conditions.

 

He anticipated that West Africa would see average rainfall over cocoa-producing regions such as Ivory Coast.

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