Extreme-weather events seem to be on the rise across the world. From wildfires, to hurricanes and tsunamis these extreme weather events are affecting the populace, and the insurance industry. Everyone is in need of a break, which is why news that an El Niño weather pattern is likely this year is troubling for many. Luckily, there is a silver lining.
El Niño is a weather pattern that refers to a scenario where the warming of ocean surface temperatures occurs in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. The atmosphere also experiences changes when the easterly trade winds actually reverse and begin to blow west. This weather pattern typically occurs every few years and brings with it a host of devastating storm systems.
The last recorded El Niño event occured from 2015-2016. During that time a host of storms caused flooding, fires and extensive crop damage.
The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) spoke about the coming El Niño in its monthly forecast. The forecast states that, “…given the timing and that a weak event is favored, significant global impacts are not anticipated during the remainder of winter, even if conditions were to form,”.
It is worth noting that it is entirely possible that no El Niño occurs this year. According to the experts there is a 65% chance of it happening. The silver lining is that even if this weather event does occur, since it is starting so late in the season it will likely be a weak event. Granted, a weak El Niño can still bring with it plenty of destruction, particularly to crops and agriculture, but it is better than the alternative.