(Updating to add detail)
NEW YORK, April 10 The chances have increased
over the past month that the much-feared El Nino phenomenon,
which has the potential to wreak havoc on global crops, would
strike by summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the federal U.S.
weather forecaster said Thursday.
In its monthly report, the Climate Prediction Center, an
agency of the National Weather Service, pegged the likelihood at
more than 50 percent.
In March, it said there was about a 50 percent chance of the
weather pattern that causes floods and droughts across the world
during the summer or autumn.
On Tuesday, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology pegged the
chances of El Nino in 2014 at more than 70 percent.
El Nino - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the
Pacific - affects wind patterns and can trigger both floods and
drought in different parts of the globe, curbing food supply.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and