An El Nino weather pattern, which can parch parts of Australia and Asia while bringing rains to South America, will probably develop in the next few months as the Pacific Ocean warms, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology says.
Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second- biggest reinsurer, said losses for the global insurance industry from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters fell 44 percent last year amid a quiet Atlantic hurricane season.
An El Nino watch has been issued by the U.S. Climate Prediction Center, warning of the possible development of the weather-altering event that can bring rain to California and South America and raise winter temperatures in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest.
The first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Arlene, formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and may cause “life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Warm Atlantic waters and favorable wind patterns may produce 13 to 20 named storms this year for the fourth above-average hurricane season in a row, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration predicted.