El Nino could be on its way

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  • The World Meteorological Organization forecast “a 70 per cent chance of an El Nino developing by the end of this year”.
    El Nino is triggered by periodic warming in the eastern Pacific Ocean which occurs once every four to seven years and can trigger drought in some regions, heavy rain in others.
    While El Niño events normally occur every five-to-seven years, the recurrence of the event so close to the previous one, suggests that climate change may be having an impact.
    Myanmar’s prominent weather expert U Tun Lwin has urged the authorities concerned and the people of the country to take precautions for the powerful climate phenomenon which will bring drought.
    October, November and December which usually sees storms in the Bay of Bengal are experiencing lack of storms this year. It means the El Nino weather front, which is more severe than previous years, is expected to arrive in this region.
    But, the weather pattern is kept under watch by meteorologists, and if it is approaching us to us, the weather bureau will sound alarm about the weather event that usually takes effect in March, April and May in Myanmar with extreme high temperatures.
    Myanmar experienced the El Nino weather in 2015-2016 winter and 2016 summer seasons. The 2015-16 El Niño was one of the strongest ever recorded, and had an impact on global temperatures, which saw 2016 enter the record books as the warmest year.
    However, the World Meteorological Organization predicts that it does not expect the anticipated El Nino would have less impact than in the 2015-2016 event, but it will still has considerable impacts.
    It also warned that the advance prediction of this event will help save many lives and considerable economic losses.
    El Nino would mean that Myanmar would see drier-than-normal conditions during the post-monsoon season.
    According to weather experts, El Niño brings extreme temperatures and poses severe problems including unusual rainfall patterns, acute water shortage and diseases for the country.
    Prolonged drought can compromise not only freshwater supplies and food security, but can also have cascading impacts on public health, the economy and food distribution.
    The late arrival of annual rainfall, one of the impacts of El Nino, could have detrimental effects on cultivation of monsoon paddy crops.
    Hence, most importantly we must monitor the weather front as we are still not in a position whereby we can know the exact extent of El Nino’s arrival to the our country.
    Taking lessons which we experienced in the 2015-2016 winter and 2016 summer seasons, We must seek ways and means for risk reduction in the face of severe weather patterns.
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