El Nino is here, Positive Indian Ocean Dipole just around the corner

BOM ENSO tracker was upgraded to EL NIÑO status on 12 May 2015.

El Nino officially occurs in the Pacific Ocean since few months ago. Based on BOM forecast, it is expected to further strengthen and last until 2016. El Nino event will leave a strong impact at East Malaysia, or Borneo Island, less influence on the Peninsular Malaysia. Normal El Nino event will cause drought at the Western Pacific region. The prolong drought condition will consequently cause severe wildfire, thus the transboundary haze episode.

All eight of the surveyed international climate models indicate the central Pacific Ocean will warm further during the coming months. All surveyed models indicate that NINO3.4 will remain above El Niño thresholds until at least late 2015.

During strong El Nino event, the Pacific Ocean can trigger the El Nino in the Indian Ocean, or scientifically called as Positive Indian Ocean Dipole. If in coincidence both Pacific Ocean El Nino and Positive Indian Ocean Dipole occurring at the same time, it can cause severe drought in the Southeast Asia region, as the co-occurring event in 1997-98.

Unfortunately, based on the BOM and JAMSTEC forecast, both El Nino and Positive Indian Ocean Dipole could occur at the same time during late 2015. Thus, from top government down to local communities need to be highly alert and prepare for the worst impact.

Three of the five surveyed international climate models indicate a positive IOD event will occur during the southern hemisphere winter or spring.

More details about the impact of Positive Indian Ocean Dipole can be found at OurWorld2.0