KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 – The hot, dry weather brought on by El Nino is expected to pass in June, based on an analysis by an agency responsible for monitoring the development of the phenomenon. The Climate Prediction Centre (CPC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has its base in the United States.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the phenomenon would end when the Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) reading drops to less than 0.5 degrees Celsius compared to the current 2.0 degrees. He said that the impact of the El Nino on the temperature in the country is expected to reduce when the strength of the El Nino winds down while the increase in the frequency of rain during the inter-monsoon season reaches its height at the end of April or early May.
“This is because the rain and thunderstorms, especially in the afternoons and evenings in the west coast states and interior of the peninsula, west Sabah and Sarawak, will be more frequent during the inter-monsoon season,” he said in a statement here Monday.
He said that based on current observation by the CPC, the ONI value for Jan-Feb-March 2016 was 2.0 degrees Celsius while that for Feb-March-April 2016 would only be known after the overall reading for April was obtained. He said the weak El Nino which began to build up in March last year became strong in August while the anomaly of the temperature of the ocean surface in the east and central equatorial Pacific Ocean region, which is known as ONI, recorded a value of about 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The strength of the El Nino reached its highest level in December 2015 when the ONI reached 2.3 degrees Celsius. This value is the same as during the El Nino phenomenon in 1997/98,” said Madius. On Sunday, he said that as of April 6, four areas in the country recorded more than 24 days without rain.
He said Seberang Perai Tengah in Penang experienced 38 days without rain, followed by Felda Tenggaroh Timur 2 in Mersing, Johor, with 30 days. The other two areas were in Sabah – the west coast district of Kota Belud and Langkorn Estate, Kudat, each with 25 and 24 days without rain.