(Reuters) – El Nino weather conditions will continue through the Northern Hemisphere during April-June 2024 with a 62% chance, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

“Above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean were indicative of a strong El Nino, with anomalies increasing in the central and east-central Pacific in the past month, “the Climate Prediction Center (U.S. CPC) said.

El Nino is a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific, and can provoke extreme weather phenomena from wildfires to tropical cyclones and prolonged droughts.

Additionally, there is a 35% chance of this event becoming “historically strong” for the November-January season, the U.S. CPC said.

The naturally occurring phenomenon is already spurring calamities across the globe, with the latest target being the neighborhoods of Paraguay and Somalia. The stakes are seen higher for emerging markets more exposed to swings in food and energy prices.

(Reporting by Harshit Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Porter and Lisa Shumaker)

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