PORT MORESBY, 01 JUNE 2017 (THE NATIONAL) — Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says government officials have been monitoring reports of incremental warming of ocean temperatures in the region.



He spoke about the government’s effort after global and regional weather agencies predicted that El Nino conditions were likely to be experienced by the country in August. That is expected to bring drier weather, possibly drought.


“There are warning signs of a potential return of the El Niño weather system towards the end of this year,” O’Neill said.


“Leadership and experience are required in managing the prospect of drought conditions, and our Government is developing a management plan to minimise impact on our people.


“From our experience over the past few years, we are in a strong position to be preparing now to deal with El Nino weather conditions, and to better prepare our people to once again overcome this challenge.


“We managed the previous severe weather conditions that impacted our country, ensure food would reach drought areas, and we will continue to do this for future extreme weather threats.”


According to National Weather Service assistant director Jimmy Gomoga, there are four categories of El Nino. All of them will have impacts on various parts of Papua New Guinea if it happens, he said.


Gomoga said these include the neutral El Nino, weak El Nino, moderate El Nino and strong El Nino.


“We are now in neutral conditions and likely going into a weak El Nino,” he said.


Since March, several global and regional climate agencies predicted a potential occurrence of El Nino in the second half of this year.


However Gomoga said from what they were seeing now, there was a tendency of weak or moderate El Nino occurring.


“But this will still have impacts in some parts of the country.”


He said El Ninos have different impacts in different parts of the country.


“If we have a weak El Nino, then the New Guinea Islands and Bougainville will have less water and drought conditions,” Gomoga said.


He said if there is a moderate El Nino, then Milne Bay islands and parts of Western will face drought…..PACNEWS [/restrict]