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Ocean-atmosphere conditions remain neutral with small risk of El Nino: WMO

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-11-23 14:45:43

Neutral conditions have continued in the tropical Pacific through recent months and the likelihood of El Nino conditions developing during the remainder of 2012 is now low, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in an update Thursday.

Even if El Nino develops between November 2012 and January 2013, its strength would be weak, said the WMO.

Between July and September, the tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures increased to weak El Nino levels, but because atmospheric characteristics of El Nino, such as sea level pressure, trade winds and cloudiness, failed to develop, overall conditions remained neutral, it said.

The sea surface temperatures then returned to neutral levels by early October, according to the update.

It said the neutral conditions are likely to persist into the first quarter of 2013.

The El Nino phenomenon is due to large-scale interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere. It is characterized by unusually warm ocean surface temperature in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, in contrast to the unusually cool ocean surface temperature witnessed in the same region during La Nina events.

 

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