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Israeli and German researchers developed a breakthrough method to predict major weather events like El Niño.

By United with Israel Staff

Researchers from Israel’s Bar-Ilan University and Germany’s Giessen University and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research developed an algorithm that predicts major weather events.

The algorithm is able to identify the occurrence of severe weather patterns, like El Niño, a full year before they materialize, providing a greater opportunity to prepare for massive storms and other natural disasters.

Older predictive models only provided a six-month lead time.

This team of researchers is now forecasting that in 2020 Israel will be hit by El Niño, a weather pattern associated with ocean temperatures that cause intense storms in certain places and drought in others.

Should El Niño hit Israel, it could impact the amount of rain in the country, perhaps refilling the Sea of Galilee, the country’s only fresh water source, as well as the flow of the Jordan River, which feeds the Kinneret, another name for the Sea of Galilee. Israel has suffered many years of drought, causing significant depletion of the Sea of Galilee.

“This new algorithm is a promising way of predicting El Niño,” said Shlomo Havlin, an award-winning professor at Bar-Ilan’s Department of Physics who helped develop the algorithm, reported Ynet.

“The old methods had no way of reliably predicting El Niño more than six months before the event occurred; this new algorithm basically doubles our prediction capabilities,” said Giessen University’s Professor Armin Bond, who initiated the algorithm’s development, according to Ynet.

The algorithm has already successfully predicted two occurrences of El Niño in the Pacific Ocean. It found an 80 percent chance that Israel will face El Niño-related climate changes in 2020, according to the report.

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