El Niño has begun

El Niño's Arrival in the Pacific: What Impact Will It Have on UK Weather?

A weather phenomenon called has begun in the Pacific Ocean. It is a natural event that may contribute to the ongoing warming of our planet due to climate change. Scientists in the United States have confirmed its onset and worry that it could make 2024 the hottest year ever recorded. can also affect global weather patterns, potentially causing drought in Australia, increased rainfall in the southern United States, and a weaker monsoon in India. Let's take a simpler look at what is and how it might impact UK weather in 2023.

El Niño is a powerful climate event that occurs every few years. It involves warm waters rising to the surface of the Pacific Ocean near South America, releasing a lot of heat into the atmosphere. This can have significant effects on global weather patterns. Interestingly, years following strong El Niño events often see record-breaking global temperatures, like we experienced in 2016.

Who confirmed the start of El Niño? Scientists in the United States use certain criteria to determine when El Niño has begun. They look for the ocean to be around zero point five degrees Celsius warmer than usual for a month, observable changes in the atmosphere, and signs that the event will continue. In May, these conditions were met, leading the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration to declare that El Niño conditions were present. Although it's currently a weak signal, scientists believe that these conditions will become stronger over time, with an 84% chance of reaching moderate strength by the end of the year.

What's the impact on UK Weather in 2023? El Niño's effects will be felt worldwide, including in the UK. In 2023, the intensity of El Niño is expected to peak towards the end of the year. This raises the possibility of breaking the global temperature record in 2024. UK Met Office experts suggest that if there is a significant El Niño by the end of 2023, the chances of setting a new record in 2024 will be high. However, it's important to note that the impact of El Niño on UK weather is more indirect compared to other regions.

The specific effects of El Niño on UK weather are not easy to predict, but they could result in changes to temperature and rainfall patterns. El Niño's influence on atmospheric circulation, like the jet stream, might lead to a milder and wetter winter for the UK. However, the effects in the UK may not be as extreme as those experienced in countries like Australia or the southern United States.

Let's sum up. El Niño, a natural climate phenomenon, has started in the Pacific Ocean and has the potential to impact global weather patterns. The occurrence of El Niño raises concerns about 2024 becoming the hottest year on record and poses challenges to climate change goals, particularly the aim of staying within the one point five degree Celsius limit set in the Paris climate agreement. While the exact impact on UK weather in 2023 remains uncertain, the interaction between El Niño and other atmospheric systems could lead to a milder and wetter winter. Ongoing monitoring and analysis by meteorological experts are important for understanding and preparing for the potential effects of El Niño on UK weather.

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