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weather extremes

There's a 60 - 88% chance weather phenomenon 'El Niño' will strike this year

El Nino is a flow of unusually warm waters from the Pacific Ocean that shakes up climate patterns worldwide.

THE UN WEATHER agency says there’s a strong chance an El Niño weather event will reappear before the end of the year.

The El Niño, a flow of unusually warm surface waters from the Pacific Ocean toward and along the western coast of South America, shakes up climate patterns worldwide and usually raises global temperatures.

Extreme events

An update this week from the World Meteorological Organisation puts the odds of El Niño at 60 percent between June and August, rising to 75-88 percent between October and December.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud says El Niño leads to “extreme events and has a pronounced warming effect” on top of man-made global warming.

The outlook is for peak strength during the last quarter of the year and into the few months of 2015 before dissipating.

In April, the United Nations made a similar warning, saying that there was a “fairly large potential for an El Niño, most likely by the end of the second quarter of 2014″.

The last El Niño occurred between June 2009 – May 2010, with one of the strongest-ever spells occurring in 1997, leading to extreme weather.

- Additional reporting Aoife Barry

Read: Remember that mad weather in 1997? It could be back again this year…>

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