Climate models still see El Nino returning: Australia

SYDNEY Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:56am EDT

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said climate models it surveys continue to indicate a return of an El Nino weather pattern, often linked to heavy rainfall and droughts, later this year.

In its updated outlook, the bureau said the Pacific Ocean continues to warm, albeit still within the normal range, and its forecasts indicate this trend will continue, with conditions likely to approach or exceed the El Nino thresholds by the end of winter.

"When compared to April, the ocean has cooled slightly in the far eastern Pacific and along the west coast of South America. However, water along the coast of South America remains more than 2 degrees Celsius warmer than usual in areas," the bureau said.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Ed Davies)

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