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May 2002

El Niņo situation and prospects

Agrometeorology Group,
Environment and Natural Resources Service
FAO Research, Extension and Training Division

06 May 2002

Uncertainty continues to prevail about a full-fledged El Niņo developing this year: Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) remain above average, but the expected response of the atmosphere fails to develop.

Leading models tend to predict a warm ENSO phase (El Niņo proper), but SST observations recorded a relative cooling of Pacific surface waters over the last weeks of April. The contradiction between models and observation should be resolved towards the end of May.

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