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El Niño weakens, La Niña expected as meteorologists predict cool fall

El Niño is finally coming to an end, meteorologists say.
El Niño is finally coming to an end, meteorologists say. NOAA Climate Prediction Center

WASHINGTON – In the midst of a major El Niño, federal meteorologists say its flip side, La Niña, is around the corner.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center reports that El Niño is weakening but likely to stick around a couple more months. At the same time, NOAA issued a formal watch for a fall arrival of La Niña.

Global News meteorologist Jordan Witzel said the watch means NOAA expects our current El Niño pattern will “weaken this summer and be replaced almost immediately by cooler sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.”

“This will likely have an effect on our autumn weather with generally opposite conditions of an El Niño. So it’s time to think cool and wet for fall and winter, though there is always room for variability in long-term projections.”

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“A La Niña could also enhance the Atlantic hurricane season this year,” Witzel said.

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READ MORE: El Nino – What it is and why it matters

Prediction centre deputy director Mike Halpert said it often means dry weather for parts of California, which haven’t quite recovered from a four-year drought.

El Niño is the natural warming of parts of the Pacific that alters weather worldwide. La Niña, with cooler Pacific waters, often has opposite effects.

This El Niño which started a year ago has been one of the strongest on record.

With files from Global News