U.S. government weather forecasters said Thursday they expect the La Niña weather phenomenon to take place in the Northern Hemisphere later this year, as El Niño conditions have dissipated.
The forecast means Southern California could experience a drier winter, following a winter that didn’t bring as much rain as expected.
The Climate Prediction Center, an agency of the National Weather Service, said in its monthly forecast La Niña is favored to develop during the summer and pegged the chance of La Niña developing in the fall and winter 2016-17 at 75 percent.
The climate center also said that El Niño conditions, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, had largely disappeared, citing near-to-below average sea surface temperatures across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.
La Niña, which is typically less damaging than El Niño, is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It tends to occur unpredictably every two to seven years. It is usually associated with drier weather in the American Southwest.
The new forecast came on the same day that the San Diego County Water Authority predicted that it has sufficient water supply to cover three dry years.
Reuters contributed to this article.