La Nina is over - but what does that mean?

La Nina is over - but what does that mean?

Credit: flossboss / Your News

Spectacular sky over the Olympic mountains and Puget sound shipyard

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by Associated Press, KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Updated Thursday, May 3 at 9:46 AM

WASHINGTON -- The La Nina weather phenomenon is over.

The National Weather Service pronounced the two-year La Nina finished on Thursday. La Nina is the flip side of El Nino and is caused by the cooling of the central Pacific Ocean.

La Nina in the Pacific Northwest typically translates to a colder, wetter than average autumn and winter.

According to KING 5 Meteorologist Jeff Renner, "The usual influence of La Nina is to give us wetter than average conditions during the late autumn and early winter months, then cooler than average conditions during the later winter months. The usual tendency toward increased snowfall is in the mountains."

What is the difference between La Nina and El Nino? Find out

Forecasters say the end of La Nina signals good news for the drought in the South and hurricane areas along the coasts. La Nina's greatest effects are in the winter, usually triggering drought in the U.S. South and more rain further north. It also often means more hurricane activity in the Atlantic during the summer.

Global temperatures are cooler during La Ninas, especially in the tropics

Meteorologists reported some drought relief in Texas earlier this year. But recently drought conditions intensified again in parts of Texas and much of the Southeast.

Picture submitted through Your News on April 19, 2012

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