Malaysia, which has been dealing with a heatwave in recent months, is forecast to experience weak El Nino conditions from June onwards, the environment minister said on Wednesday.
The intensity of the weather phenomenon will increase to moderate levels by November, and result in a 20% to 40% reduction in rainfall, said Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, the minister of natural resources, environment and climate change.
Some of the effects of El Nino will also be seen around March to April next year, he said in parliament.
The Southeast Asian nation is so far not expected to experience an extreme heatwave where temperatures exceed 38 degrees Celsius for several consecutive days, Nik Nazmi said.
"However, there is still a possibility that the country will experience slightly higher than normal temperatures, with an increase of between 0.5 degrees Celsius to 1.0 degrees Celsius," he added.
Early signs of hot, dry weather caused by El Nino are threatening food producers across Asia, with palm oil and rice production likely to suffer in Indonesia and Malaysia - which supply 80% of the world's palm oil - and Thailand, according to analysts.
Malaysia is the world's second largest producer of the widely consumed palm oil.
The nation's crude palm oil production could drop between 1 to 3 million tonnes next year due to El Nino, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said late last month. (Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Martin Petty)