El Niño is expected to continue at least until April 2024.
El Niño-induced temperature and precipitation anomalies will continue during the first semester of 2024 in Central and South America (dry/wet conditions), East Africa (wet conditions), southern Africa (dry conditions), and Asia and the Pacific (dry/wet conditions).
Between January and June 2024, several countries already facing humanitarian crises may experience heatwaves, wildfires, floods, droughts, and epidemics due to El Niño.
El Niño is likely to increase humanitarian needs of the exposed populations, with food security and health expected to be the most affected sectors.
Climate change has the potential to amplify Niño-induced rainfall and temperature anomalies, triggering unpredictable and potentially more extreme outcomes.
ENSO stands for El Niño and Southern Oscillation, a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature and changes in the air pressure across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
ENSO is one of the main drivers of interannual climate variability. The two extreme ENSO phases are El Niño and La Niña. El Niño occurs when the surface waters in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean become warmer than average, and La Niña occurs when these waters become cooler than average. These changes in sea-surface temperatures can cause shifts in atmospheric pressure and winds, leading to changes in rainfall patterns, temperature, and other weather-related phenomena worldwide.
Climate change can amplify the rainfall variability related to ENSO and increase the likelihood of extreme weather events. Global warming is also increasing ENSO ‘variability’, and strong El Niño and La Niña events have occurred more frequently than the pre-1960 average. More frequent swings from a strong El Niño to a strong La Niña are anticipated in the future.
GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN IMPACTS OF EL NIÑO
Click on this interactive diagram to explore the rainfall and temperature anomalies, the associated hazards, and the main humanitarian impact dimensions of El Niño.
The assigned risk level of El Niño impact is based on expert judgement following an assessment per country of the indicators/factors listed on the right:
Historical impact of previous El Niño events in the country
Typical influence of El Niño between January and June in the country
Seasonal precipitation and temperature forecast for the first semester of 2024
Impact of El Niño in 2023 in the country and materialisation of seasonal forecasts/alerts
Pre-existing humanitarian crises and vulnerabilities to El Niño-related hazards
National/local response capacity to natural hazards/impact from natural hazards
Expected impact on agriculture, livestock, and fishery
Potential spill-over effects of El Niño on local food prices and the economy
Potential disease outbreaks and increased health needs
Global climate analysis
20 February 2024
Colombia: anticipated impact of wildfires
DOCUMENT / PDF / 645 KB
Since the start of January 2024, multiple wildfires have raged in a number of Colombia’s departments. As at 26 January, the fires had ravaged approximately 17,000 hectares, with no information available on the number of people injured.
16 February 2024
Philippines: floods and landslides in Mindanao Island
DOCUMENT / PDF / 985 KB
In late January 2024, torrential rains triggered by the trough of a low-pressure area (LPA) and the northeastern monsoon resulted in widespread floods and landslides across Mindanao Island, southern Philippines.
12 February 2024
Chile: wildfires in the central region
DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB
As at 11 February 2024, record-breaking temperatures in Chile had resulted in severe and extended wildfires across the northern regions of Araucanía, Libertador, Los Lagos, Maule, O’Higgins, Santiago Metropolitan, and Valparaíso.
06 February 2024
El Niño overview: anticipated humanitarian impact in 2024
DOCUMENT / PDF / 5 MB
This report provides a global overview of El Niño-related hazards anticipated between January–June 2024 and their consequent humanitarian impacts, aiming to support strategic planning and anticipatory action. The report focuses on areas where additional humanitarian needs are likely to be observed.