WMO sees increased chance of El Niño in 2012

There is a slight chance of El Niño weather conditions developing between July and September but the strength of any such event, usually associated with significant changes in precipitation, is unknown, the World Meteorological Organization said June 26.

El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.

In its previous update in May the WMO said it foresaw an equal chance of El Niño or neutral conditions in the second half of the year, with little chance of a return to the 2011-12 La Niña conditions that ended in April.

“Now we’re saying El Niño has a slight edge over neutral conditions,” WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis said.

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