December 14, 2017 / 2:31 PM / in a month

U.S. weather forecaster sees La Niña chances exceeding 80 percent

(Reuters) - A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said La Niña conditions are predicted to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast pegged the chance of La Nina developing at about 80 percent, with a transition to ENSO-neutral most likely during the mid-to-late spring.

The agency in its November advisory had projected a 65 percent to 75 percent chance of the phenomenon developing during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter.

La Niña emerged last year for the first time since 2012. The phenomenon, characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, is linked with floods and droughts.

“Based on the latest observations and forecast guidance, forecasters favor the peak of a weak-to-moderate La Niña during the winter,” the agency said.

Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas

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