Extraordinary El Nino off Peruvian coast not expected by year-end, says research body

June 26, 2014, 5:49 pm

El Nino is not expected to become extraordinary off the coast of Peru (El Nino 1+2 region) by year-end, says the latest report of the Peruvian institution researching El Nino ENFEN.

By end of 2014, ENFEN forecasts weak to moderate warm conditions in the 1+2 region, while conditions are expected to be from warm to strong for the 3.4 region.

Within the next two months, ENFEN projects weak to moderate warm conditions in El Nino 2 region, and moderate in the 3.4 region.

These predictions will be more reliable as Peru moves away from its autumn season, says ENFEN's report, dated June 21.

ENFEN's predictions are based on data gathered during the first two weeks of June, without including the latest developments of last week, when a sudden jump in water temperatures prompted expectations of an upward warming trend that would confirm the development of El Nino.


The report of the Peruvian institution said the oceanic Kelvin wave, formed at the end of April in the central equatorial Pacific and now reaching the western edge of the coast of South America, will maintain the sea surface temperatures above its normal values until the end of July.

In the Peruvian coast, during the first half of June, sea surface temperatures had anomalies between 0.9° and 3.1°C, the report reads.

It also highlights changes in the anchovy stocks, already noticed since May.

"Anchovy moved to areas with greater depth due to the presence of warm waters," reads the report.

As anchovy has moved to the south, near the shore where industrial fishing vessels are not allowed to operate, only 46% of anchovy quota has been caught by June 21, according to the Peruvian ministry of production (Produce).

Despite poor catches, Peruvian anchovy catcher Pesquera Exalmar is confident 80% of the 2014 anchovy quota will be caught this year, following the forecasts of ENFEN.

Latest developments 

On June 20, sea surface temperature anomalies in the Nino 3.4 region showed the highest value of the year at +0.9ºC, according to data from NOAA seen by Undercurrent News.

This drastic increase of water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean encouraged projections of an upward warming trend confirming the development of El Nino, according to the oceanic scientist Luis Icochea.

“This is a big jump in temperature, from now on waters will hardly be cooled, the event is irreversible,” Icochea told Undercurrent last week.

Icochea said abnormal high temperatures in the air and the water, as well as fish species movements, are strong evidence of an, at least, strong El Nino.

"El Nino is going to be strong, but we will need to wait a bit more to forecast exactly how strong it will be," Icochea said.

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