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Cooler than normal Pacific waters

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, March 12L, 2009) – The chances are greater than 50 percent that the La Nina weather anomaly will disappear during the northern hemisphere spring, creating neutral conditions across the central and east-central Pacific Ocean.

That was the latest word from the U.S. Climate Prediction Center (CPC) in its latest monthly report on the La Nina/El Nino weather phenomenon. The CPC is an office under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"Atmospheric and oceanic conditions during February 2009 continued to reflect La Nina," the CPC said. This has produced "below average" equatorial sea surface temperatures that weakened throughout the month across the central and east-central Pacific Ocean. "While nearly all the model forecasts for the Nino-3.4 region show that La Nina will have dissipated by May-July 2009, the exact timing of the transition to ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions is uncertain," the CPC reported.

"The timing of the expected transition will depend on the strength of the low-level easterly wind anomalies and on how quickly the reservoir of below-average subsurface temperatures dwindles," it said.

La Nina conditions have been present since late December, the CPC reported on Feb. 5.

La Nina results in cooler-than-normal waters in the Pacific Ocean. The more famous El Nino weather phenomenon has the opposite effect. These changes in ocean temperatures alter the tropical wind and rainfall patterns with far reaching implications.

Tahitipresse: http://www.tahitipresse.pf/index.cfm?lang=2

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