For the first time in 5 years the El Nino weather pattern is underway.
El Nino is an irregular event that takes place when warm water in the Pacific Ocean around south-east Asia moves towards the coast of South America, bringing dramatic changes in weather patterns around the globe.
This can bring torrential rain in Mexico and Ecuador causing the potential for widespread flooding and landslides, whilst normally wet areas of southeast Asia are left at risk from significant drought.
Although the UK isn’t directly impacted, most climate changes do have a ‘knock on’ effect for us.
Research shows that El Nino’s effects on the UK appear to be strongest in winter, causing colder, harsher winters.
The Met Office says El Nino increases the prospect of snow in the UK and contributed to the coldest winter since records began in 2009/2010, when the UK saw blizzard conditions with extreme low temperatures, record snowfall and areas of Merseyside at a complete standstill. However, as only one of the factors influencing the weather, snow cannot be assured.
Watch this dramatic video below of when Wirral ground to a halt in the 2010 record snowfall:
David Jones, a climatologist at the Bureau, which has been on the look-out for the event, commented on this years El Nino: “This is a proper El Nino effect, it’s not a weak one,”
“You know, there’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event.”
Research suggests that extreme El Nino events will become more likely as global temperatures rise due to man made climate change.