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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The weather anomaly La Nina could develop later this summer, but the National Weather Service said on Thursday it is unlikely to affect weather in the United States during the next few months.
The U.S. agency said conditions, including warmer water temperatures below the surface in the Central Pacific, "make a transition to La Nina conditions much less likely in the next few months than had appeared earlier in the year."
Even if La Nina, which means "little girl" in Spanish, does occur, forecasters said it is likely to be weak and not develop until late summer. La Nina can help foster the development of hurricanes.
Most of the United States will experience warmer than normal weather this summer and the Pacific Northwest will be drier than normal, forecasters said. Hotter weather would boost demand for power as more Americans turn on their air-conditioning units for relief.
In a 90-day forecast, the agency predicted warmer than normal temperatures for all of the nation except the U.S. Plains and the western Corn Belt. The NWS said there were equal chances of warmer, cooler or normal weather in that region.
Above-normal rainfall during July, August and September was forecast for the Northeast southward through states bordering the Atlantic and through southern Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. There were equal chances of above, below or normal rainfall in the rest of the country except the Northwest.
Additional reporting by Christopher Doering in Washington