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Environment

El Nino, La Nina weather patterns not seen prevailing during summer: WMO

LONDON (Reuters) - Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific remain neutral, meaning that neither El Niño nor La Niña weather patterns are prevailing, the U.N. World Meteorological Organisation said on Thursday.

The El Niño pattern brings a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific every few years, and is the opposite of La Niña.

Recent cooling of the sub-surface waters in the region has caused slightly above-average sea surface temperatures to return to near-average levels during May, the WMO said.

The latest seasonal forecasts indicate that tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures are likely to cool further, potentially approaching weak La Niña levels during the second half of 2020.

Given current conditions and model predictions, the chance of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions continuing through June-August 2020 is estimated to be around 60%, with a 30% chance of La Niña, the WMO said.

“Chances for La Niña rise to 40% for the September-November period,” it added.

Earlier this month, a U.S. government weather forecaster said there was about a 65% chance that neutral weather conditions will prevail in the Northern Hemisphere this summer with no El Niño or La Niña.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Nick Macfie

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