October 10, 2019 / 2:03 PM / 11 days ago

U.S. forecaster sees 85% chance of neutral weather conditions in fall

(Reuters) - There is about an 85% chance that a weather pattern marked by average long-term ocean temperatures, tropical rainfall and atmospheric winds will prevail in the Northern Hemisphere this fall, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

However, the chances that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation-neutral (ENSO) weather pattern will continue through spring 2020 is at 55% to 60%, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast.

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

“Forecasters believe the recent oceanic warmth reflects sub-seasonal variability and is not indicative of an evolution toward El Niño. However, chances for El Niño remain between approximately 25-30% through the winter and spring,” it said.

El Niño emerged in 2018 for the first time since 2016, and persisted until August 2019. The weather pattern has been linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods.

Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and Bernadette Baum

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