FAO reviews possible upcoming El Niño effects on agriculture
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) has given an indication of what farmers around the world may expect from weather conditions over the coming year, forecasting a possibility of an El Niño episode.
The FAO said there was a 70% chance of an El Niño event occurring during the Northern Hemisphere summer, and an 80% of it occurring during the fall or winter.
The forecasts follow increased sea surface temperatures near the equator in recent months.
"However, there still remains uncertainty as to exactly when El Niño will develop and an even greater uncertainty regarding its potential severity," the FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) on food and agriculture said in a recent report.
The report outlined the possibility of lower rainfall in Southern Africa, Asia and Oceania, however Western Australia may have wetter weather in the first quarter.
In contrast, East African growers may benefit from above average rainfall, while farmers in the southern part of Latin America may experience heavier rains.
In the event of an El Niño episode, North America could face divided outcomes with higher precipitation in the south and west, along with drier conditions in the north and east.