NEW YORK A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday projected the possibility of closely-watched El Niño phenomenon developing in the Northern Hemisphere late summer or fall.
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in its monthly forecast said neutral conditions are favored to continue through at least the spring, with increasing chances of El Niño developing toward the second half of 2017. It pegged those chances at 50 percent from August through December.
The last El Niño, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, went away in 2016 and was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods.
(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Bernard Orr)