US Climate Prediction Centre forecasts no end to El Nino

The United States Climate Prediction Centre (US CPC) has warned that there in a 90 per cent chance El Nino will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015 – 2016. The US CPC has updated the likelihood of El Nino continuing into December 2015 from 70 per cent, to more than 90 per cent likelihood. It forecasts an 80 per cent chance El Nino will continue into March 2016. El Nino can often lead to warmer weather across Asia and East Africa, and heavier than usual rains, including flooding, in parts of South America. As Brazil is positioned in the northern, southern and western hemispheres, the impact of El Nino is likely to be varied. Inmet meteorologist Fabrício Daniel dos Santos Silva told Reuters that El Nino characteristics were already affecting Brazil's semi-arid northeast. He said the effects of El Nino in the southeast coffee growing regions would likely be warmer temperatures and not necessarily more rainfall. Silva said this was good news for Arabica coffee in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, where rains during the May-August harvest have caused damage. Colombia’s agronomists are reporting coffee regions have been drier than usual for weeks and that drier conditions could increase the threat of crop damage from pests. Alexis Rubinstein, Senior Editor at INTL FCStone’s CoffeeNetwork, found that El Nino has caused a cut in production in Vietnam. In her white paper, El Niño and Global Coffee Production, Rubinstein reports that if Vietnam’s crop continues to see less than average rainfall, as expected, the cherries that have already been set will be smaller and of lower quality. Rubinstein examines the weather phenomenon of El Niño and its varying effects on the world’s coffee producing countries. “It is hard to generalise if El Niño is bearish or bullish for global coffee markets. Each El Niño is different, has a specific impact on different regions and can vary greatly in severity,” Rubinstein said. Rubinstein’s white paper breaks down the varying climatic conditions in the major coffee producers and how El Niño has helped or hurt production during the numerous stages of coffee bean development. The El Niño and Global Coffee Production white paper can be downloaded from the NTL FCStone website. Image: Global hemispheres – by DLommes 

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