Japan weather bureau raises chance of El Nino emerging by summer

Yuka Obayashi PlanetArk 11 Mar 15;

Japan's weather bureau said on Tuesday that the possibility of an El Nino pattern forming by summer is higher than the 50 percent it projected in its previous monthly forecast.

Normal weather patterns may continue, but there is higher chance of an El Nino, which is often linked to heavy rainfall in some regions and drought in others, emerging by summer, the bureau said.

The El Nino weather pattern - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - can trigger drought in Southeast Asia and Australia, and floods in South America, hitting production of key foods such as rice, wheat and sugar.

(Editing by Ryan Woo)