U.N. panel reports end of El Nino pattern

July 7, 2010 at 1:11 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, July 7 (UPI) -- The El Nino weather pattern dissipated quickly in May, giving way to the weaker La Nina in the Pacific Ocean, the U.N. meteorological unit in Switzerland said.

Prevailing conditions more likely than not will strengthen into a basin-wide La Nina during the coming months the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday in its El Nino-La Nina update.

By mid-June, sea-surface temperatures decreased about 0.5 degrees Celsius below normal over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific near the borderline of La Nina conditions, the organization said.

El Nino, characterized by abnormal warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, and La Nina, marked by unusually cool ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific, can disrupt normal patterns of tropical precipitation and atmospheric circulation, impacting climate in many parts of the world, meteorologists said.

Below-average sea temperatures also exist beneath the surface of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, the agency said. Forecast models predict a further decrease in the central and eastern Equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature, with the most dynamic models strongly favoring further La Nina development, WMO said.

La Nina conditions likely will develop more during the next several months, but the timing and magnitude of a La Nina weather event in 2010 remain uncertain, the U.N. unit said.

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