U.S. weather forecaster sees neutral conditions into Northern winter

NEW YORK, July 5 Fri Jul 5, 2013 12:00pm EDT

NEW YORK, July 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. government weather forecaster said on Friday that neutral conditions will last longer than previously expected, reducing the chance that the La Nina or El Nino patterns that play havoc with global weather will materialize this year.

In its monthly report based on conditions over the past four weeks, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said extreme weather would be unlikely to occur heading into the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Neutral conditions mean neither La Nina nor El Nino patterns will occur.

In June, sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific were below average and near average across the rest of the equatorial Pacific, it said.

Last month, the CPC, an office under the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, had said extreme conditions were unlikely into the Northern Hemisphere summer.

In 2011, La Nina, an abnormal cooling of waters in the equatorial Pacific that wreaks havoc on weather in Asia and the Americas, was blamed for crippling droughts in Texas and severe dry spells in South America that killed crops.

Its infamous counterpart, El Nino, heats up tropical oceans in East Asia, sending warm air into the United States and South America, often causing flooding and heavy rains.

It can also trigger drought conditions in Southeast Asia and Australia, regions that produce some of the world's major food staples, such as sugar cane and grains. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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