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La Niña May Come Back For Third Straight Year March 2, 2012
Sea Surface Anomaly Graphic
While La Niña lingers in the mid-Pacific, warmer-than-normal surface water has developed off South America.
The La Niña ocean-cooling that just brought southeastern Australia its coolest summer since 1984 and two consecutive years of drought in the southern U.S. has begun to wane, according to meteorologists in both countries.

But the director of Norway’s Center for Climate Dynamics says the phenomenon may come back even stronger later this year.

“It seems that the conditions are very similar to what we had last year,” said Tore Furevik.

La Niña emerged in 2010 and has been responsible for weather shifts that triggered famine in East Africa, devastating flooding in Thailand and the worst drought on record in Texas.

While Furevik predicts a La Niña resurgence later this year, most meteorologists agree that sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific should return to near normal over the next few months, easing the worldwide weather shifts.

Photo: NOAA