The World Meteorological Organization is forecasting a possible return of the El Niño phenomenon to the Pacific Ocean later this year, hot on the heels of the 2015-2016 back-to-back El Niño events, with only a short-lived, milquetoast La Niña cooling period having occurred in between.

The WMO, drawing on recent observations, climate models and historical trends, predicts that there is a 50-60 percent chance of a reoccurrence of El Niño before 2017 ends. Regional El Niño-associated warming in the Eastern Pacific has already caused heavy rains in Peru and Ecuador, leading to extensive flooding. The sea surface temperatures in the far eastern tropical Pacific have been 2ºC above normal during February and March.
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