WMO Issues El Niño/La Niña Update

World Meteorological Organization

21 November 2008: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released an update on the current situation and outlook of El Niño/La Niña.

The update is prepared approximately every three months through a

collaborative effort between the WMO and the International Research

Institute for Climate and Society as a contribution to the UN

Inter-Agency Task Force on Natural Disaster Reduction. The WMO update

notes that near-neutral conditions currently prevail in the tropical

Pacific, which is expected to continue until the end of 2008 and into

early 2009. It also notes that, historically, the normal period for

development of El Niño or La Niña is March-May, and states that

forecasters will be watching for any signs of such development. The WMO

update highlights that periods when El Niño and La Niña conditions are

absent do not necessarily mean that fewer climate extremes will occur.

This is because such extremes can develop under the influence of

region-specific systems. Therefore, as the update advises, users should

continue to deploy risk management practices and consult National

Meteorological and Hydrological Services, and regional climate

institutions for more specific climate outlooks and follow-up updates. [The Update]