El Niño conditions are developing across the Pacific Ocean, with meteorologists now putting the probability of a full event developing by the end of the year at almost 75 percent.  Sea surface temperatures are warming counter-seasonally across much of the equatorial Pacific and trade winds are slackening, both common precursors of an El Niño episode. The principal impacts of El Niño (and its opposite weather pattern La Niña) are felt in Southeast Asia, Australia and South America, where it can have a major effect on temperatures and rainfall, with a big effect on agriculture. The impacts on North America are more complicated and variable, but it has an effect on […]