People, Environment

Weatherman Dismisses “Unusually Cold Winter” Claims

Weatherman Dismisses “Unusually Cold Winter” ClaimsWeatherman Dismisses “Unusually Cold Winter” Claims

Following reports on Tuesday that the National Iranian Gas Company was preparing for an “unusually cold winter” due to the weather phenomenon El Nino, officials have moved to rebuff the claims.

An official letter circulated on social media and websites on Tuesday stated that NIGC was anticipating an extraordinarily cold winter as a result of this year’s strong El Nino, with Managing Director Hamidreza Araqi saying his company is prepared to maintain a steady supply of natural gas in winter.

However, Ahad Vazifeh, head of the organization’s Weather Forecast and Early Warning Office at Iran’s Meteorological Organization, told ISNA, “In fact, we’re going to experience a warmer winter.”

According to the official, the coming winter will be between 1 and 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the long-term average.

Vazifeh said IMO has been studying the effects of El Nino on Iran extensively, but noted that it is still too early to say whether the phenomenon will impact the country’s weather.

“Nevertheless, we’ve noticed a drop in temperature wherever El Nino was not happening,” he said.

The National Center for Climatology, which has been monitoring the development of El Nino, keeps an updated website with recent changes in Iran’s weather patterns and forecasts.

Every two to seven years, an unusually large warm pool of water—sometimes two to three degrees Celsius higher than normal develops across the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to create a natural short-term climate change event. This warm condition, known as El Nino, affects the local aquatic environment, but also spurs extreme weather patterns around the world, from flooding in California to droughts in Australia.

This year’s El Nino is already strong and appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98, the strongest El Nino on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization.