Here comes La Nina, El Nino's flip side, but it will be weak

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Forecasters say La Nina, the cool flip side to El Nino, is returning for a second straight winter.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday a weak La Nina has formed and is expected to stick around for several months. La Nina is a natural cooling of parts of the Pacific that alters weather patterns worldwide.

La Nina typically brings drier conditions to the U.S. South and wetter weather to the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. Indonesia, the Philippines, northeastern South America and South Africa often see more rain during La Nina winters.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, says this La Nina should be just as weak as last year's, which also was unusually brief.