The U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday predicted that extreme conditions are unlikely through the Northern Hemisphere summer, with the La Niña pattern more likely to develop than its more infamous counterpart, El Niño.
In its monthly report based on conditions over the past four weeks, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said a small number of its models predict “weak” La Niña conditions, but most forecasts favor conditions remaining neutral over the summer.
The CPC’s previous monthly report on May 9 said data confirmed its forecast that El Niño was unlikely to cause extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere throughout the summer and into winter.
The CPC is an office under the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
In 2011, La Niña, an abnormal cooling of waters in the equatorial Pacific which wreaks havoc on weather conditions in Asia and the Americas, was blamed for crippling droughts in Texas and severe dry spells in South America that killed crops.
The phenomenon known as El Niño heats up tropical oceans in East Asia, sending warm air into the United States and South America, often causing flooding and heavy rains. It can also trigger drought conditions in Southeast Asia and Australia, regions that produce some of the world’s major food staples, such as sugar cane and grains.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Grant McCool)