October 12, 2017 / 1:19 PM / a year ago

U.S. weather forecaster pegs La Niña chances at 55-65 percent

(Reuters) - Conditions are favoring the likelihood of the La Niña weather pattern, which can cause floods and droughts, during the Northern Hemisphere’s fall and winter, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said in a monthly forecast that the chances of La Niña were at 55 percent to 65 percent.

Last month, the agency had pegged the chances of La Niña at 55 percent to 60 percent.

La Niña emerged last year for the first time since 2012 before fading earlier this year.

Typically less damaging than El Niño, La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and tends to occur unpredictably every two to seven years.

Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Von Ahn

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