Vietnam could bear the brunt of severe effects from the El Nino phenomenon which could last until the end of this year and have a harsh impact on global weather patterns.

In the past, typhoons such as Linda in 1997, Xangsane in 2006 and Ketsana in 2009 caused substantial damage to southern and central parts of Vietnam.

The El Nino phenomenon causes the average rainfall in Vietnam, especially in the central region, to drop 25-50 percent and the average monthly temperatures to rise.

River current strength in central and Central Highlands regions reduces by at least 10 percent and could plunge 50-60 percent in strong El Nino years.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, weather and hydrometeorology in Vietnam has seen abnormal developments in the first six months of this year as a result of El Nino effects.

For example, tropical storm Kujira in the East Sea hit northern Hai Phong and Quang Ninh cities, resulting in downpours in northern and central northern localities.

A severe cold spell in the north in early January caused rare snow rain in Sa Pa city of Lao Cai province. Meanwhile, a large-scale heat spell raged through central region from Thanh Hoa to Quang Nam provinces.

Vietnam reported over 17 hail storms, whirlwinds, and thunderstorms since the beginning of the year that caused huge material and human losses.

Water shortages have occurred in central coastal provinces, Central Highlands and south eastern regions.

Under El Nino, Vietnam is likely to face about nine storms and depressions in the East Sea this year, less than the annual average of 12 in the past many years, of which three or four will directly impact the country’s mainland (previously 5-6).

From now to September 2015, the temperature will be 0.5-1.0 degree Celsius higher than previous years and rainfall in central provinces could be lower than that of previous years.

Meanwhile, the water level of rivers across the central and Central Highlands region could reduce 30-60 percent from the previous years’ averages. Water levels could dip 60-95 percent lower than normal in south central provinces.

Water shortages and drought in the central region will last until mid September, especially in Quang Tri, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan provinces while salt intrusion is expected to encroach deeper in the river mouths and coastal areas.-VNA