Japan weather bureau says El Nino appears to have formed

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TOKYO, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Japan’s weather bureau said on Friday the El Niño weather pattern appears to have formed and that there was a 70 percent chance it would continue into the Northern Hemisphere spring.

A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday projected an 80 percent chance of the El Niño weather pattern forming and continuing through the Northern Hemisphere in winter 2018/19.

The last El Niño, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, occurred around 2015/2016 and caused weather-related crop damage, fires and flash floods. (Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)