(Reuters) -There is a 90% chance of La Nina conditions prevailing through the Northern Hemisphere winter and into spring 2022 during March-May, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

The La Nina pattern is characterized by unusually low temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and is linked to floods and drought.

La Nina is anticipated to affect temperatures and precipitation across the United States during the upcoming months, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said, adding, the weather pattern had a 50% chance of continuing in spring 2022 during March-May.

Meanwhile, El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions are expected during the months of April-June, the CPC said in its monthly forecast.

ENSO-neutral conditions refer to periods in which neither El Niño nor La Nina is present, often coinciding with the transition between the two weather patterns, according to the center.

El Nino is charcaterized by unusual warming of surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru)