(Reuters) – There is about a 60% chance that neutral weather conditions will prevail in the Northern Hemisphere this spring, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation-neutral (ENSO) weather pattern is marked by average long-term ocean temperatures, tropical rainfall and atmospheric winds.
The chance of the neutral weather pattern continuing through summer 2020 is 50%, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast.
It is expected that oceanic temperatures will remain elevated in the near term, particularly in the western and central equatorial Pacific Ocean, the weather forecaster said.
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.
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 Bernadette Baum