The United Nations weather agency predicts the phenomenon known as La Nina is poised to last through the end of this year, a mysterious “triple dip” – the first this century – caused by three straight years of its effect on climate patterns such as drought and flooding worldwide.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Wednesday said La Nina conditions, which involve a large-scale cooling of ocean surface temperatures, have strengthened in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific with an increase in trade winds in recent weeks.
A natural and cyclical cooling of parts of the equatorial Pacific, La Nina changes weather patterns worldwide and is usually associated with wetter conditions in some parts of the world, and drier conditions in others.
The better-known El Nino – an opposite phenomenon – is associated with warming in parts of the world.
“It is exceptional to have three consecutive years with a La Nina event,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri …