April 11, 2019 / 1:15 PM / 11 days ago

U.S. forecaster sees 65 percent chance of weak El Niño in summer

(Reuters) - There is a 65 percent chance of weak El Niño conditions continuing through the northern hemisphere summer this year, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

“El Niño continued during March 2019, as above-average sea surface temperatures persisted across the equatorial Pacific Ocean,” the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) added in its monthly forecast.

The CPC said chances of the weather pattern continuing through the fall season were slightly lower at 50 to 55 percent.

Last month, the weather forecaster pegged the chances of weak El Niño conditions continuing through the northern hemisphere spring 2019 at 80 percent.

El Niño can affect rainfall and temperature patterns in many regions, with important consequences for agricultural and food security sectors, according to the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.

Reporting by Arpan Varghese and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio

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