“According to forecasters, the long anticipated El Niño has finally arrived,” wrote the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) on their website in March. According to the report, the El Niño was still weak, so the effects have been somewhat limited. “Certain weather aspects, that are associated with El Niño, may occur this spring in parts of the northern hemisphere, such as increased rainfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast.”
During a presentation in Germany Fred G. Harmsen van der Vliet from Harmsen & Partners summed up the expected effect of El Niño: “Drought and weather changes due to El Niño can cause hunger in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and water shortages in Java.” Furthermore we could see drought in Northeast Brazil, Southeast Africa, the Western Pacific, Pakistan and Northwest India. Changes in ocean currents and warmer ocean water, the beginnings of El Niño, have already disrupted fish migrations. El Niño also means lower yields for the agricultural sector.
In addition, there is a higher chance of strong tornado’s around Japan and South Korea. In South America El Niño means more rain, in North America there is less chance of hurricanes and Europe can face colder winters. The exact impact of an El Niño is difficult to predict. The fruit and vegetable sector in Latin America declared that last year they had unusual El Niño weather conditions.