NEW YORK A U.S. government forecaster on Thursday said the chance has increased for weather phenomenon La Nina developing in the coming months in the Northern Hemisphere fall and persist into winter 2016-17.
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast pegged the chance of La Nina developing this fall at 70 percent, versus a likelihood of neutral conditions forecast last month.
The conditions are slightly favored to persist into the winter, CPC said, pegging the chances at 55 percent. The emergence of La Nina would follow a strong El Nino that has dissipated in recent months after wreaking havoc on global crops.
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.
(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)