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(Reuters) - A dreaded El Nino anomaly may begin in the third quarter of this year, raising the prospect that it could wreak havoc in weather patterns from North and South America to Asia, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said Thursday.

"Overall, the forecaster consensus reflects increased chances for El NiƱo beginning in July-September 2012," the CPC said in a monthly update.

(Reporting By Rene Pastor; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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