U.S. weather forecaster lowers El Niño chances to 60-65 percent

A surfer looks at waves as storm clouds move in from Pacific Ocean at Sydney's Manly Beach
A surfer looks at waves as storm clouds move in from the Pacific Ocean at Sydney's Manly Beach August 26, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. weather forecaster pegged the likelihood of the El Niño weather phenomenon occurring during the Northern Hemisphere autumn and winter at 60-65 percent in its monthly update on Thursday.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, has begun dialing back its outlook for the phenomenon since going on El Niño watch earlier this year for the first time since 2012.

The agency had lowered its outlook to 65 percent for an El Nino last month.

"At this time, the consensus of forecasters expects El Niño to emerge during September-October and to peak at weak strength during the late fall and early winter," CPC said in the report.

El Niño, the warming of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, can cause flooding and heavy rains in the United States and South America and can trigger drought conditions in Southeast Asia and Australia.

For a link to the full report, click here: http://1.usa.gov/1l5XUb3

(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Nick Zieminski)