Australia puts chance of 2014 El Nino at more than 70 percent

SYDNEY Tue Apr 8, 2014 1:34am EDT

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - The chance of an El Nino weather event developing in 2014 now exceeds 70 percent, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday, raising the prospect of damaging floods and droughts across the globe.

"It is now likely (estimated at a greater than 70 percent chance) that an El Niño will develop during the southern hemisphere winter", from May-July, the bureau said.

"Although the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral, surface and subsurface ocean temperatures have warmed considerably in recent weeks, consistent with a state of rapid transition."

(Reporting By Lincoln Feast; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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