U.S. forecaster sees weak La Nina likely to fade in early 2017

Anomalies in weekly averaged sea surface temperature (Celsius) over the Pacific for the week centred on Nov. 30, 2016. (CPC.ncep.noaa.gov)

New York | Reuters — A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said weak La Nina conditions were present but favoured to dissipate in the coming months.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said in a monthly forecast that conditions were likely to transition back to neutral during January through March.

The report said La Nina would likely bring above-average temperatures and below-median precipitation across much of the southern tier of the U.S. and the reverse in the northern tier.

Typically less damaging than El Nino, La Nina is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and tends to occur unpredictably every two to seven years. Severe occurrences have been linked to floods and droughts.

Environment Canada has previously said La Nina, during the winter, is often linked to above-average precipitation in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec and colder-than-normal temperatures on the Prairies.

Reporting for Reuters by Chris Prentice. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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