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Weather officers monitor ENSO

Torika Tokalau
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Observations indicate the Tropical Pacific is warming.

This was part of the Fiji Meteorological Service update last month on El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions.

ENSO is an irregular cycle of persistent warming and cooling of sea surface temperatures in the Tropical Pacific Ocean.

The warm extreme is El Nino and the cold extreme, La Nina.

According to the Fiji Met Service, El Nino is accompanied by a reduction in rainfall over most of Fiji which can, especially during moderate to strong events, lead to drought.

"The Tropical Pacific Ocean sub-surface has warmed substantially over the past few weeks, and is likely to result in the warming of the sea surface in the coming months," the update said.

"Furthermore, international climate models indicate that warming of the Tropical Pacific is likely in the coming months, but to remain within neutral range during the March to May 2014 period.

"Most models show temperatures approaching or exceeding El Niño thresholds by the second half of the year."

Fiji Met Service director Alipate Waqaicelua said they would continue to monitor the development of ENSO over the coming months and routinely provide updates as required.

"FMS monitors ENSO development routinely, all year round," he said.

The last time Fiji experienced an El Nino event was in 2009 when the service declared a "meteorological drought" in certain parts of Fiji.

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