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El Niño to last until April 2024, pushing record temperatures — WMO

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GENEVA — The ongoing El Niño weather pattern is set to last until at least April 2024, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Wednesday, pushing up temperatures in a year already on track to be the warmest on record.

The WMO said there was a 90% likelihood that the naturally-occurring event will continue through the northern hemisphere winter, following a similar projection last month from a US government forecaster.

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El Niño is a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific, and it can provoke extreme weather phenomena from wildfires to tropical cyclones and prolonged droughts.

The phenomenon is already spurring calamities across the globe, with the stakes expected to be higher for emerging markets more exposed to swings in food and energy prices.

The WMO said in the same statement that the 2023 is on track to be the warmest year on record. The previous record year was in 2016 due to the one-two punch of an exceptionally strong, naturally-occurring El Niño and the impact of warming induced by the burning fossil fuels. — Reuters

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