The ongoing El Nino is expected to weaken as the second quarter of 2016 starts. Nevertheless, the phenomeon of the central and eastern Pacific continues to exert its influence around the globe.
The latest “victim” is the West Coast of the United States, where Pacific storms are being driven across the region by the jet stream, which has been deviated by the knock-on effect of El Nino.
Although El Nino-induced flooding has been a major issue in countries as far apart as Paraguay in South America and Tanzania in Africa, it is severe drought that is causing the greatest threat to life.
Across much of Southern Africa, for instance, where food security is an ongoing issue, failing crops have raised the spectre of famine.
In other regions, such as Southeast Asia, water shortages have hampered the production of staple crops, such as rice, as well as cash crops, including coffee.