U.S. agency reduces outlook for La Nina in 2016-17

Pacific Ocean surface temperature anomalies, in degrees Celsius, for the seven-day period centred on Aug. 31, 2016. (CPC.ncep.noaa.gov)

New York | Reuters — A U.S. government weather forecaster reduced its outlook on Thursday for La Nina conditions to develop during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter of 2016-17, saying neutral conditions were more likely.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, said in a monthly forecast there was a 55 to 60 per cent chance of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral conditions.

The CPC had said last month that La Nina conditions were slightly favoured to occur.

La Nina is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It tends to occur unpredictably every two to seven years. Severe occurrences have been linked to floods and droughts.

Environment Canada has previously said La Nina, during the winter, is often linked to above-average precipitation in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec and colder-than-normal temperatures on the Prairies.

Reporting for Reuters by Luc Cohen. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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