El Niño and its impact on global weather

Official blog of the Met Office news team

Forecast centres around the world have now declared that an El Niño, the most powerful fluctuation in our climate system, has begun in the tropical Pacific.

For more than a year, scientists have been talking of an increased risk of the start of El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific.

Scientists have been watching closely because it can change the odds of floods, droughts, heat waves and cold seasons for different regions around the world and can even raise global temperatures.

Early signs of an El Niño last year failed to fully develop and atmospheric conditions remained close to neutral into the start of 2015.

Now, however, observations from the tropical Pacific show that we have moved to weak El Niño  conditions for the first time in five years.

While it is still too early to determine with confidence how strong this El Niño  might be forecast models from…

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