The image shown here shows the El Niño phenomenon during the 2015 year and its unusual duration into 2016 according to the Jason-2 oceanographic satellite. The 2015 year was very abnormal in relation to weather: temperatures above zero were recorded in mid-December in the North Pole, the Atacama desert bloomed and the strongest hurricane ever-recorded was seen. Due to the 2015 El Niño year, 2016 will also be a record-breaking year. This El Niño is the strongest seen in the last 15 years and has the potential to be the strongest recorded since 1950.
Climate models show that with greenhouse gas emissions, 2015 El Niño will reach its maximum intensity at the start of 2016 and the eastern Pacific will continue to feel its effects until the month of August.
The seasonal forecast for January to March 2016 suggest that there is a good chance of higher than average rainfall for Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, western Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Also, there is also good chance that Central America, Venezuela, Columbia, Eastern Brazil, Bolivia, and northern Chile will experience lower than average precipitation.
At the global scale, the droughts and floods resulting from this phenomenon will have serious consequences on the main crops such as rice, wheat and corn. Floods can cause a strong soil erosion and can damage the food supply.
According to a study from the World Health Organization, El Niño has already affected the lives of 4.2 million people from Central America where droughts will remain until March, causing crops to disappear in the corridors of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the phenomenon should weaken in the coming months and gradually disappear in the second quarter of 2016.
Recommendations for producers
– Develop their prevention plans
– Identify critical areas
– Note major crops and breeds
– Develop technical maps with specific recommendations for each crop
– Attend meetings with producers and authorities
– Track the sowing areas