NEW YORK (Reuters) - Following a damaging El Nino weather period, a U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said the La Nina weather phenomenon is favored to develop during August through October 2016.
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, said in its monthly forecast there is a 55 percent to 60 percent chance that the La Nina weather phenomenon will develop during the fall and winter of 2016/17.
Last month, the CPC forecast that La Nina was favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere's summer with a 75 percent chance of it developing in the fall and winter.
La Nina, which is typically less damaging than El Nino, is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It tends to occur unpredictably every two to seven years. Severe occurrences have been linked to floods and droughts.
Near-to below-average surface temperatures across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean were observed during the past month, the CPC said.
Last month, the agency said that El Nino conditions, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific that has been linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods over the past year, had largely disappeared.
(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry)