From: Associated Press
Published November 10, 2006 12:00 AM

El Nino Expected to Continue Into 2007

WASHINGTON — The unusual warming of water in the Pacific Ocean known as El Nino is expected to continue into winter, affecting weather in North America, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

The federal Climate Prediction Center said the result could be warmer than normal temperatures over western and northern United States and western and central Canada.

In addition, in a typical El Nino conditions would be wetter than normal in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida and drier than average in the Ohio Valley and Pacific Northwest.

Other El Nino effects include unusually dry weather over most of Malaysia, Indonesia, some of the U.S.-affiliated islands in the tropical North Pacific, northern South America and southeastern Africa, and wetter-than-average conditions over equatorial East Africa, central South America -- including Uruguay, northeastern Argentina and southern Brazil -- and along the coasts of Ecuador and northern Peru, the agency said.

El Ninos develop every few years when tropical Pacific waters warm, changing wind and weather patterns and affecting air pressure, resulting in climate changes in much of the world.

The condition was named El Nino by South American fishermen, who tended to first notice the change near Christmas time. El Nino is Spanish for little boy, a reference to the baby Jesus.

The latest forecast calls for El Nino to continue into spring, the agency said.

Source: Associated Press

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