2018/2019 El Niño Asia-Pacific impact outlook for December 2018 to February 2019

This joint ESCAP/RIMES advisory assesses the potential repercussions of the present situation, both, in terms of the climate and its possible societal impacts. It is intended to inform the efforts of Governments, development and humanitarian agencies to understand the risks and to mitigate the potential impacts. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is like tango, it takes two — the ocean and the atmosphere — to complete. This year, despite widespread above-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, the atmosphere has not yet responded. Therefore, only “ENSO-neutral” conditions have prevailed in the region so far. Although the stage is set for the tango, ENSO may or may not materialize, or just slightly influence some parts of the region.

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