(USA Today) El Niño is forecast to continue through the summer and possibly into the fall, federal forecasters announced Thursday, which could weaken the Atlantic hurricane season.

El Niño is a periodic natural warming of seawater in the tropical Pacific. It’s among the biggest influences on weather and climate in the United States and around the world.

Specificially, in its monthly forecast released Thursday, the Climate Prediction Center said there’s a 66% chance that El Niño conditions will persist through the summer. Beyond that, however, the forecast calls for a 50-55% percent chance it will last through the fall, including the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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