December 21, 2014
There could be some unusual weather patterns around the world in the coming months.
The World Meteorological Organization says that's because a "weak to moderate" El Nino weather system has developed in the tropical Pacific Ocean. It was first observed in June and July, and estimates indicate it will continue into the first quarter of next year.
The condition is linked to warmer surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean during the latter months of the year. It's already being associated with an intense drought in south Asia.
The U.N. weather agency says it's difficult to predict all of the possible effects of El Nino, but conditions could be drier than normal in eastern Africa. It should also mean a weak Atlantic hurricane season this year.
The agency says this El Nino won't be anywhere near the strength of the one in 1997, which was linked to hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in losses around the world.
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