Weather Service diagram shows how La Nina affects weather in North America.

Federal weather forecasters on Thursday predicted the development of drought-producing La Niña pattern that could to last through the winter.

There is a 60% chance that La Niña will develop during the Northern Hemisphere fall, with a 55% chance the pattern will continue through the winter of 2020-21, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said in its monthly forecast.

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 Southwest.

The weather phenomenon last emerged during September-November season in 2017 and lasted through early 2018.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.