World News

Japan weather bureau flags probable La Nina phenomenon

TOKYO (Reuters) - A La Nina weather phenomenon has probably appeared, with a 70% chance of continuing through the northern hemisphere winter, Japan’s weather bureau said on Thursday.

Characterised by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean region, the La Nina event may also be linked with floods and drought, so its progress is closely tracked by farmers, for example.

The warning follows last month’s prediction by a U.S. government weather forecaster of the development of a La Nina pattern during the season from August to October, and expected to last through the 2020-21 winter.

Last month, the Japan Meteorological Agency said some La Nina features, such as lower ocean temperatures, were appearing, adding that it saw a 60 percent chance of La Nina weather conditions emerging by the end of winter.

The La Nina last emerged in autumn 2017 and ran through spring 2018, a Japanese weather official said.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez