(ECNS) -- China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has warned of an El Nino winter this year and estimated its overall impact unlikely to equal the one of 1997 and 1998, China News Service reports.
Zhang Zuqiang, head of the Disaster Relief Bureau and spokesman for the CMA, said sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies were near or greater than +2°C across the eastern half of the tropical Pacific, part of figures that show the El Nino effect has been strengthening.
Zhou Bing, engineer at National Climate Center under the CMA, said the El Nino event develops slowly during its early stages, while the devastating effect in its middle and final stages equals that of 1997 and 1998. Its overall strength appears unlikely to exceed that of those years, it was added.
Zhou believes this El Nino may reach its peak this winter, and come to an end next spring.
Furthermore, it is the driver of this winter's warmer outlook across China, Zhang added.
Devastating floods in the country during 1997 and 1998 were linked to the El Nino effect.