La Nina seems to have peaked, set to decline: WMO

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2012 4:08 AM
La Nina seems to have peaked, set to decline: WMO

GENEVA (Reuters) - La Nina, a weather phenomenon usually linked to heavy rains and flooding in Asia-Pacific and South America and drought in Africa, seems to have reached its peak and is expected to fade between March and May, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday.

A weak to moderate La Nina pattern has cooled the tropical Pacific since around October, a considerably weaker event than in 2010-11, the United Nations agency said in a statement.

"Model forecasts and expert interpretation suggest that the La Nina is near its maximum strength and hence is likely to slowly decline over the coming months," the WMO said.

"However, beyond May, there is some uncertainty over the expected state of the Pacific Ocean, with no particular preference for El Nino, La Nina or neutral conditions," it said, referring to its opposite phenomenon which warms the Pacific.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by James Jukwey)