Forecasters at the US Climate Prediction Centre (CPC) are citing warming ocean temperatures as a signal that El Nino could strike as early as the third quarter of 2012, raising prospects of wreaking weather havoc from North and South America to Asia.
“Overall, the forecaster consensus reflects increased chances for El Niño beginning in July-September 2012,” the agency said in a monthly update.
The monthly report is the strongest prediction yet about when the El Niño weather phenomenon could emerge this year. In June, it issued an El Niño watch, warning the phenomenon could materialise in the second half of the year, but said conditions were still neutral between June and August. (via News24)
El Nino is associated with flooding at lower elevations and increased snow and rain in the Sierra. The last recorded El Nino event was 2009-2010.