U.S. forecaster sees 65% chance for no El Nino, La Nina during summer

(Reuters) - There is about a 65% chance that neutral weather conditions will prevail in the Northern Hemisphere this summer with no El Niño or La Niña, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

The chances of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions continuing through autumn is 45% to 50%, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast.

The ENSO neutral weather pattern is marked by average long-term ocean temperatures, tropical rainfall and atmospheric winds.

“During April 2020, low-level wind anomalies were easterly across the central and east-central Pacific, while upper-level wind anomalies were westerly over the central and eastern portions of the basin,” the forecaster said.

ENSO neutral conditions refer to those periods in which neither El Niño nor La Niña is present, often coinciding with the transition between the two weather patterns, according to the CPC.

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.

El Niño emerged in 2018 for the first time since 2016 and has been linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods.

Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky