La Niña to persist until March, says U.S. weather forecaster

by Reuters
Thursday, 14 January 2021 14:32 GMT

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Jan 14 (Reuters) - There is an approximately 95% chance the La Niña weather pattern will prevail through the Northern Hemisphere winter from January to March, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

"Below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) extend from the western to the eastern Pacific Ocean, and reflect the continuation of La Niña," the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said.

The center's winter projections were unchanged from December.

The La Niña pattern is characterized by unusually low temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and is linked with floods and drought.

The weather phenomenon last emerged during the September-November period in 2017 and lasted through early 2018.

A transition to more neutral conditions is more likely in the spring of 2021, the climate center said, pegging the chances of that at about 50%.

However, the forecast uncertainty increases during the summer and fall, the forecaster said.

"La Niña is anticipated to affect climate across the United States during the upcoming months," the CPC added. (Reporting by Arpan Varghese and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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