Regional statement on the El Niño and potential impacts for the Pacific Islands

This statement was produced at the first Pacific Island Climate Outlook Forum (PICOF) held on the 12th to the 16th of October at the University of the South Pacific. The forum had a specific focus on the current El Niño, regional and national climate outlooks and impacts on the water sector across the Pacific Islands region. Representatives at the forum were from regional organisations, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, national water sectors and UN organisations. A strong El Niño is currently in place with wide and varying impacts across the Pacific Islands region. El Niño will continue to have a significant influence on the climate and ocean in most parts of the Pacific Islands region for the remainder of 2015 and much of 2016. El Niño is likely to be at its maximum strength towards the end of 2015, but will remain in place into the first half of 2016.