There is a 66 percent chance that the Northern Hemisphere will see persisting El Niño conditions in the summer of 2019, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast on Thursday.

“The current downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave should fuel the persistence of El Niño at least in the short-term,” the CPC reported.

This wave moves a thick, warm surface layer of western Pacific water eastwards, pushing a layer of colder water underneath it deeper as it goes, often leading to an increase in surface temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The chances of the weather pattern continuing through the fall and winter were a bit lower, at 50 percent to 55 percent, the U.S. government weather forecaster said.

CPC had last month pegged the chances of El Niño conditions continuing through the Northern Hemisphere summer at 70 percent.

El Niño can affect rainfall and temperature patterns in many regions, with important consequences for agricultural and food production, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

(Reporting by Swati Verma and Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru Editing by Bernadette Baum)