Goodbye La Nina; Hello normal summer?

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U.S. scientists say this winter’s brief La Nina has evaporated, meaning an increased likelihood of a more normal summer. | Sun-Times file photo

WASHINGTON — U.S. scientists say this winter’s brief La Nina has evaporated, meaning an increased likelihood of a more normal summer.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that the central Pacific has returned to normal after a weak-to-moderate natural cooling that happens every few years during the presence of La Nina, the cooler flip side of El Nino that affects weather worldwide.

La Nina usually means more Atlantic hurricanes, but it won’t be goosing this hurricane season. Other factors such as wind and rain patterns off Africa and other natural climate events might still add up to a stormy season.

Mike Halpert of NOAA says the absence of El Nino and La Nina means this summer’s weather will be harder to predict. But he expects long-term increased warming.

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