U.S. forecaster says El Nino expected to begin soon

New York | Reuters –– The El Nino weather phenomenon is expected to occur in the next one to two months and last into next spring in the Northern Hemisphere, though it will likely be weak, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) agency of the National Weather Service said on Thursday.

While the forecast marks the strongest prediction yet from the U.S. weather forecaster after going on watch earlier this year, the call for a weak El Nino means the pattern will have less of an impact on global crops than previously expected.

“This El Nino will likely remain weak throughout its duration,” CPC said in its monthly forecast.

El Nino, the warming of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, is known to cause flooding and heavy rains in the southern U.S. and South America and can trigger drought conditions in Southeast Asia and Australia.

El Nino has also been linked to improved chances of relatively warm and dry winters in Canada and the northern U.S., but a weaker El Nino is expected to have less such influence.

Reporting for Reuters by Chris Prentice in New York. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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