La Nina going away, but too late for Texas drought

February 9, 2012 - 2:35 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal weather forecasters say the La Nina weather phenomenon that contributed to the southwestern U.S. drought is winding down.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center says La Nina is showing signs that it will be over by summer. Center deputy director Mike Halpert said that's too late for Texas because the rainy season will be over by that time. The effects of La Nina, a cooling of the central Pacific, are generally weaker in summer.

But it is good news for the Atlantic hurricane belt. More tropical storms form there during La Ninas.

Halpert said La Nina generally causes more weather damage to the U.S. than its flip side, the better known El Nino.

Forecasters don't know what conditions will follow this La Nina.