63 per cent of Indonesia hit by El Niño weather extremes

BMKG’s analysis of dry weather in an online discussion titled “Beware of the Impact of El Niño”, Monday (31/7).

Jakarta – The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) revealed that 64 per cent of the 669 categorised zones have been affected by the extreme weather of long drought or El Niño. Indonesia last experienced El Niño in 2019.

Head of BMKG’s Climate Change Information Centre, A Fachri Radjab, explained that the impact of El Niño is inseparable from Indonesia’s geographical position, which is flanked by two oceans. Thus, when El Niño arrives, some areas will be affected by extreme drought, but other areas will be flooded.

“We have categorised the monsoon zones in 669 regions. And already 63 per cent of these 669 zones are directly affected by El Niño’s long dry season,” Fachri said in an online discussion titled Beware of El Niño’s Impact, late July.

Furthermore, according to him, BMKG predicts that the El Niño that will occur this year is expected to be drier than three years ago. The areas that have the potential to experience extreme drought include most of Sumatra and Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi. He said that due to the El Niño months with ber endings (September, October, November, and December), there are indications that the rainy season will not yet enter.

“The peak of the dry season is expected to occur in September this year. In the past, we used to think that the ber-ber months were the rainy season, but now the spatial distribution is not the same throughout Indonesia,” he added.

BMKG, Radjab said, noted that in the Maluku region and some parts of Papua, it has not even entered the dry season. Fachri added that the potentially drier dry season is not evenly distributed throughout Indonesia. Areas with the potential to experience drier dry seasons are mostly on the islands of Sumatra and Java.

“Some areas that we predict the rain intensity in the low category, from our monthly rain forecasts both in Sumatra, most of Sumatra, both Riau, South Sumatra, West Sumatra, Bengkulu, Lampung, then Java evenly distributed almost all of Java, the category is brown meaning low rain,” he said. (Hartatik)

Banner photo: Tropical storm Eta smashing the coastline of Grand Cayman (Drew McArthur/shutterstock.com)

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