US forecaster sees 60% chance of El Nino weather pattern emerging in coming months

El Nino usually triggers drought in eastern Australia and South-east Asia.
El Nino usually triggers drought in eastern Australia and South-east Asia.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The El Nino weather pattern has a 60 per cent chance of emerging during the northern hemisphere fall of 2018, with the chances increasing to 70 per cent during the subsequent winter, a US government weather forecaster said on Thursday (Aug 9).

The last El Nino, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, occurred from around 2015 to 2016 and caused weather-related crop damage, fires and flash floods.

It usually triggers drought in eastern Australia and South-east Asia.

"Because of the consistency of forecasts and the expected eventual resurgence in the low-level westerly wind anomalies, the forecasters still favour the onset of El Nino in the coming months," the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in a monthly forecast.

Last month, the weather forecaster pegged the chances of the El Nino emergence at 65 per cent during the fall and 70 per cent during winter 2018-19.