MIAMI ( – NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center revealed Thursday that La Niña is forecast to gradually strengthen and continue into winter.

La Niña is cooler-than-average Pacific Ocean temperatures over the tropical Pacific Ocean. It typically occurs every three-to-five years and back-to-back episodes happen around half the time La Niña occurs.

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La Niña winters typically bring drier than normal conditions across the southern tier of the United States and wetter than normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and the Ohio Valley. La Niña also contributes to a more active Atlantic hurricane season.

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For states like Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, the drought that has sparked wildfires will continue through the early part of winter. For Florida and other southern states, La Niña also brings warmer winters, according to NOAA.

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NOAA said the 2010-2011 La Niña contributed to record winter snowfall and spring flooding across the U.S., as well as other extreme weather events in Africa and Australia.