La Niña conditions are back, says NOAA

drought_300-noaa.jpgThe government's Climate Prediction Center has declared a La Niña advisory based on observations in the tropical Pacific. The experts predict the effect will gradually strengthen and continue into winter, which in turn usually means a drier-than-usual wet season in Southern California and across the Southwest — but wetter months for our friends in the Pacific Northwest.

“This means drought is likely to continue in the drought-stricken states of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. “La Niña also often brings colder winters to the Pacific Northwest and the northern Plains, and warmer temperatures to the southern states.”

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La Niña is a naturally occurring climate phenomenon located over the tropical Pacific Ocean and results from interactions between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. During La Niña, cooler-than-average Pacific Ocean temperatures influence global weather patterns. La Niña typically occurs every three-to-five years, and back-to-back episodes occur about 50 percent of the time. Current conditions reflect a re-development of the June 2010-May 2011 La Niña episode.

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Photo: NOAA


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