March 12, 2020 / 1:21 PM / 17 days ago

U.S. forecaster sees 65% chance of no El Nino, La Nina during spring

(Reuters) - There is about a 65% chance that neutral weather conditions will prevail in the Northern Hemisphere this spring with no El Niño or La Niña, up from 60% last month, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation-neutral (ENSO) weather pattern is marked by average long-term ocean temperatures, tropical rainfall and atmospheric winds.

The chances of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions continuing through summer 2020 is 55%, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast.

ENSO neutral conditions refer to those periods in which neither El Niño nor La Niña are present, often coinciding with the transition between the two weather patterns, according to the CPC.

The El Niño pattern brings a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific every few years, and is the opposite of La Niña.

El Niño emerged in 2018 for the first time since 2016 and has been linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods.

Reporting by Sumita Layek and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker

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