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June 2002

El Niņo situation and prospects

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

07 June 2002

At present, the El Niņo risk is best described by the sentence "enhanced likelihood relative to an average year" (IRI, the International Research Institute on Climate Prediction). In practice, uncertainty continues to prevail about a full-fledged El Niņo, with Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) remaining slightly above average, while the typical response of the atmosphere is still not setting in. A warm phase is likely, but a full-intensity ENSO phase (El Niņo proper) could hardly develop by the end of the year from the current situation.

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