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U.S. weather forecaster sees El Niño unlikely through 2017-2018 winter

Reuters logo Reuters 8/10/2017

Morning commuter traffic travels through a section of ground fog following an El Nino-strengthened storm in Solana Beach, California, January 8, 2016. © REUTERS/Mike Blake Morning commuter traffic travels through a section of ground fog following an El Nino-strengthened storm in Solana Beach, California, January 8, 2016. A U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday there were no active El Niño or La Niña patterns, and neutral conditions were favored in the Northern hemisphere through the 2017-18 winter.

However, the chances of neutral conditions were likely to fall from about 85 percent between July and September to 55 percent between December and February, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said in a monthly forecast.

The last El Niño, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods in 2016.

Last month, the forecaster said neutral conditions were likely in the Northern Hemisphere into the coming winter. [nL1N1K40IK]

(Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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