Nevertheless, the new algorithm has advantages compared to conventional methods, which are unable to make a reliable "El Niño" forecast more than six months in advance. 

With a conventional early warning period of at most half a year so far, people in the tropics and subtropics are poorly prepared for the often devastating consequences of "El Niño" at irregular intervals around Christmas – empty fishing nets and torrential rainfall in Peru as well as extended droughts in parts of South America, Indonesia, Australia and Africa. In addition, the Indian subcontinent may experience a change in monsoon patterns, and California could see more precipitation.

The team are currently expanding the algorithm in order to be able to forecast the strength and length of the weather phenomenon in the future as well.


More information at PIK website: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/early-warning-physicists-from-giessen-potsdam-and-tel-aviv-forecast-el-nino-for-2020

Reference: Josef Ludescher, Armin Bunde, Shlomo Havlin, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (2019): Very early warning signal for El Niño in 2020 with a 4 in 5 likelihood.