THERE is a 95% chance that Papua New Guinea will experience the El Nino effect this year, the National Weather Service (NWS) has reported.
Clarifying an earlier report on this weather pattern, NWS said the signs were there because the subsurface (ocean) temperature still remained warmer than normal despite being slightly weaker in June and July.
“All the signs of an El Nino developing this year are there,” NWS acting assistant director for climate and special service Kakis Inape said.
“except that the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was yet to reach the El Nino threshold of -0.7 before we can confidently declare that El Nino has developed.”
Mr Inape said despite falling steadily in July and August, the SOI still remained stable and currently it was at -0.5
From this forecast, most indicators continued to suggest an El Nino was developing across the Pacific basin but this had slowed down in recent weeks.
But tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean continued to show warming trend of 0.5 degrees Celsius above the El Nino threshold, causing increased cloudiness near the dateline.
Also from NWS predictions, trade winds were generally weaker than average over much of the equatorial Pacific which continued to indicate El Nino signs.
It said El Nino events were usually, but not always, associated with below normal rainfall across most parts of the country depending on its severity and duration.