El Nino's cooler sibling After months of spurring record-high temperatures and wreaking havoc with global weather patterns, one of the most powerful El Ninos in history is finally coming to an 1 end. But something almost as disruptive could take its place, reports Smithsonian .com: La Nina. Whereas El Nino occurs when ocean temperatures in the Pacific become unusually warm, altering the storm track over North America and other parts of the world, its meteorological sister develops with a cooling of the tropical Pacific. Beneath El Nino's warm surface water, "a deep pool of cool water has been sliding slowly eastward for the past couple of months," says Rebecca Lindsey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). There's a 75 per-cent chance La Nina will arrive by this fall, according to NOAA estimates; if it does, there will likely be a fast transition between the two weather systems. In the U.S. over the past nine months, El Nino has been connected to a balmy winter in the Northeast and soaking rains in the drought-stricken West. A strong La Nina could do the opposite, ushering in a cold and snowy winter for the northern states and unusually dry conditions in the South and the West.
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