NEW YORK The La Nina weather anomaly has
strengthened and there is a chance it could plague countries
around the Asia-Pacific rim until the summer, the government's
Climate Prediction Center said Thursday.
In a monthly update, the Center said current "oceanic and
atmospheric conditions are similar to those accompanying the
last strong La Nina episode in 1998-2000."
The weather phenomenon should last through June and even
though there are considerable differences in the computer
models, approximately half indicate that "La Nina could
continue well into the Northern Hemisphere summer."
That would mean La Nina would last into the annual Atlantic
hurricane season, which begins on June 1 and runs to November
La Nina, which means "little girl" in Spanish, usually
results in cooler than normal water in the equatorial Pacific
which in turn drenches the Pacific Northwest while sparking
drought in the parched U.S. Southwest.
In the more famous El Nino phenomenon, waters in the
Pacific turn abnormally warm, wreaking havoc in weather
patterns around the Asia-Pacific rim.
The CPC said the northern Rockies, the Pacific Northwest,
and the Ohio and Tennessee valleys should see above-average
rain. The south and southeastern United States will receive
The Southeastern United States was recently hammered by a
bad drought which threatened to reduce water supplies to cities
like Atlanta, Georgia.
The center said above-average rains should drench Indonesia
and saw below-average rainfall in the central Pacific. But a
searing drought has also battered Australia.
(Reporting by Rene Pastor, editing by Matthew Lewis)