September 9, 2011
La Nina Coming Back For Another Season
U.S. forecasters said Thursday that La Nina is returning for another season, bringing more droughts, heavy rains and severe weather.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center said in a statement that experts upgraded last month's La Nina watch to a La Nina Advisory.
NOAA said the back-to-back emergence of the trend is not unheard of and happens about half the time.
"La Nina, which contributed to extreme weather around the globe during the first half of 2011, has re-emerged in the tropical Pacific Ocean and is forecast to gradually strengthen and continue into winter," it said.
The June 2010 to May 2011 La Nina "contributed to record winter snowfall, spring flooding and drought across the United States, as well as other extreme weather events throughout the world, such as heavy rain in Australia and an extremely dry equatorial eastern Africa."
La Nina is blamed for extremely heavy downpours in Australia, Southeast Asia and South America during the late 2010 to early 2011. The weather phenomenon is also responsible for the worst drought in the Northeast Africa's history.
"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.
He said the northwestern U.S. can brace for a colder winter than usual while southern U.S. states should see a warming trend.
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