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UN says El Nino good news for Haiti hurricane risk

The U.N. weather agency says the ongoing El Nino weather system could lessen the strength of hurricanes in the North Atlantic and mean good news for earthquake-rattled Haiti.

The World Meteorological Organization says the El Nino effect may persist through midyear, halfway through the region's March-November hurricane season.

Senior WMO official Rupa Kumar Kolli says it will be difficult to predict before May how long the El Nino effect will last.

He told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that past experience indicates neutral conditions are likely by midyear.

Kolli says the chance of a swing to the La Nina effect that increases hurricane strength in the North Atlantic is unlikely.