One result has been rainfall in Texas. We'll have more over the next few weeks.
La Nina, a cooling in the Pacific Ocean that can cause drought across the southern U.S., is expected to fade by the end of April, the national Climate Prediction Center said.
The phenomenon, which also enhances hurricane formation in the Atlantic, weakened in February, the center said in a monthly report today. The impact of La Nina may linger through May because the atmosphere needs time to adjust.
“A majority of models predict neutral conditions to return during March-May 2012 and to continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer,” the center said.
La Nina has been blamed for drought that has hit Texas and Georgia particularly hard, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Rain has eased drought conditions in eastern Texas, including Dallas, in recent months.
The weather pattern occurs on average every three to five years and usually lasts from nine to 12 months. It sometimes occurs in back-to-back years, as happened this year and last.
The current La Nina has parched crops in Argentina and Brazil and flooded plantations in Thailand and Malaysia. It also contributed to Australia’s wettest two-year period on record, the nation’s Bureau of Meteorology said Feb. 7.
The Pacific is expected to return to neutral conditions between La Nina and the warming phenomenon known as El Nino, in June, July and August, said the climate center, which is based in Camp Springs, Maryland.
La Nina cuts down on wind shear in the Atlantic, which can inhibit hurricane formation there, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration....MORE