MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Early forecasts for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season have not been as bad as year’s past and the ending of a weather phenomenon may keep the overall numbers down.

The National Weather Service said Thursday that the two-year-long La Niña has come to an end. La Niña is started thanks to unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. It’s the exact opposite of El Niño, which is unusually warm water temperatures in that region as well.

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In South Florida, the end of La Niña could have an impact on hurricane season. During a La Niña, the chances of the continental U.S. and the Caribbean Islands having to deal with hurricane activity increases substantially.

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Conversely, El Niño hurricane activity for the continental U.S. and Caribbean Islands decreases to some degree.

But remember, it only takes one hurricane to hit South Florida to make the hurricane season devastating.

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That means it’s critically important to make sure you have your hurricane plans prepared, even if the forecasts say the hurricane season may not be as bad in years past.