Oct 11, 2010 3:57 PM by Associated Press

Moderate La Nina effect expected to strengthen

The U.N. weather agency says the La Nina climate phenomenon is likely to increase from moderate to strong over the next four to six months.

The World Meteorological Organization says La Nina, characterized by abnormally cold sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, may result in drier conditions in South America and more Atlantic hurricanes.

WMO's chief of climate services, Rupa Kumar Kolli, told reporters in Geneva on Monday that recent heavy monsoon rains in South Asia are also typical of La Nina events.

Ghassem Asrar, director of the World Climate Research Programme, says the latest La Nina represents the biggest and fastest ever observed swing from El Nino's warm water conditions.

A La Nina occurs naturally every two to seven years.



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