La Niña, the cooling of the equatorial Pacific that shifts weather patterns the world over, is fading away. But California may still be prone to dryness, and the U.S. Gulf Coast faces the risk of another busy hurricane season.
Water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean will likely return to normal in the next few months, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said in a recent report.
“The transition to neutral at this point is a fairly sure thing,” said Michelle L’Heureux, a forecaster at the CPC. “What month it will occur is still open, but in May, June, and July we have an 80% chance of neutral.”
La Niña happens when the atmosphere above the equatorial Pacific reacts to cooler waters, depriving California and the West of rain and snow, allowing more hurricanes to grow in the Atlantic, causing dry conditions in parts of Argentina and flooding rains through Indonesia and across northern Australia.