The Yahoo News , 02 February 2006

Climate Experts Predict La Nina Phenomenon

ATLANTA - Climate experts on Thursday confirmed the start of a mild cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean known as La Nina.

It's too early to tell how that will affect spring and summer weather, they said, but often La Nina conditions coincide with stronger and more numerous hurricanes, wet weather in the Pacific Northwest and dry conditions in the South.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center made the announcement at the American Meteorological Society's meeting in Atlanta, confirming the slight cooling of parts of the Pacific Ocean and changes in the jet stream.

Internationally, La Nina typically creates more rainfall across Indonesia and northern Australia and the Amazon basin, said Edward Alan O'Lenic, chief of the operations branch of the Climate Prediction Center.

La Nina is the opposite of the better known El Nino, a Pacific warming. The last La Nina was in 2000-2001.