May 23, 2011

Is La Nina Coming To An End?

The U.N. weather agency said on Monday that the La Nina weather pattern is easing and there are no signs that suggest a resurgence in the coming months.

"The La Nina episode, which caused disastrously wet conditions in certain regions and drought in others, is coming to an end," the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement to the AFP news agency.

According to the WMO report, the weather pattern, which is being blamed for extremely heavy downpours in Australia, Southeast Asia and South America late in 2010 and early in 2011, is unlikely to redevelop in the middle of the year.

"Looking ahead beyond mid-year 2011, there are currently no clear indications for enhanced risk of El Nino or La Nina in the second half of the year," it said in a statement.

"Near-neutral conditions are currently considered the most likely scenario for the second half of 2011," it added.

La Nina is known for bringing unusually cool ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific.

It tends to increase rainfall across the western equatorial Pacific, northern South America and southern Africa over December to February.

Drier than normal conditions are observed along coastal Ecuador, northwestern Peru and equatorial eastern Africa during La Nina as well.

It also lowers conditions through the world, including cooler than normal temperatures in Japan, southern Alaska and Brazil.

El Nino is considered the opposite of La Nina.  It is known for warming ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.


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