TOKYO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Japan's weather bureau said on Friday the El Nino weather pattern, often linked to both heavy rainfall and drought, is continuing but added that the phenomena could end over spring.
The Japan Meteorological Agency forecast said the El Nino, which emerged during last summer for the first time in five years, was already starting to ease.
The El Nino weather pattern - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - can trigger drought in Southeast Asia and Australia, and floods in South America, hitting production of key foods such as rice, wheat and sugar.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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