|Illustrative image. Source: Internet
To date, most of the world's major meteorological agencies have forecasted El Niño's appearance. According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), a 70% chance of ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) would reach the starting level of El Niño by July 2017. The United States Climate Prediction Center (CPC / NCEP) has forecasted that occurrence 50-60% chance of El Nino will happen in the first months of this summer and that the probability level will increase in the following months of 2017.
According to Le Thanh Hai, Deputy Director General of the National Hydro-Meteorological Center, El Nino is forecasted to last until the end of 2017, so during the dry season, many places in Vietnam may witness drought and salinity. As reported, the El Niño period from late 2015 to mid-2016 caused a historic droughts and salinity during the last 100 years in the Mekong Delta, Central Highlands and South Central Coast of Vietnam. Particularly in the Mekong Delta, 10 out of 13 localities had to declare a natural disaster situation, and many of them declared level 2.
Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that as a result of natural disasters, about 160,000 hectares of rice was damaged causing a loss of about 800,000 tons of rice. Estimated losses caused by droughts and salinity reached VND 15,183 billion. Natural disasters have devastated the agricultural sector, resulting in negative growth of 0.18% in the first half of 2016.
Dr Hoang Phuc Lam, Head of the Medium and Long-term Meteorological Department under the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said that El Nino-La Nina-El Nino in three consecutive years once happened in 1963-1965. However, this year’s El Nino may not be as fierce as in 2015-2016. Heat in various areas nationwide tends to be less severe and less likely to last long. The average temperature from May to October of 2017 in all over Vietnam is forecasted to be higher than the average of many previous years, especially in the northern part of the country.
In the transitional period (April to May), thunderstorms, cyclones, hails are predicted to occur regularly, especially in the midlands, mountainous areas, the Northern Centre and the Central Highlands and Southern provinces. In May and June 2017, the average rainfall in the Northern Centre and Mid-Central region will be 10-20% lower than in the North, but will likely see a 30% increase in September and October 2017.
Mr. Hoang Phuc Lam said that El Nino will result in a reduction in storms and tropical depressions in the East Sea (South China Sea) as well as direct impacts of storms on Vietnam’s mainland. However, the storms effects will only be noticeable in the second half of the storm season. It is forecasted that during the storm season of 2017, there will be 13-15 storms and tropical depressions active in the East Sea, including 3-4 ones that will directly impact the country’s mainland, fewer than previous years’ average number, mainly landing on the Central provinces. By Duy Tien