La Niña returns in tropical Pacific
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center forecasts the phenomenon will gradually strengthen and continue into the Northern Hemisphere winter.
The administration will release its official winter outlook in mid-October, but says La Niña winters often mean drier conditions for the southern United States and wetter conditions in the Pacific Northwest.
"This means drought is likely to continue in the drought-stricken states of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico," says Climate Prediction Center deputy director Mike Halpert.
"La Niña also often brings colder winters to the Pacific Northwest and the northern Plains, and warmer temperatures to the southern states."
The most recent 2010-11 La Niña event led to floods in Australia, Colombia, Brazil and more recently Bangladesh, while it also exacerbated drought conditions on the African continent and caused extreme snowfall in North America.