La Nina conditions have developed, and there is an 87% chance of the weather pattern continuing through the December-February period, a US government forecaster said on Thursday.
The La Niña pattern is characterized by unusually cold temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
"La Niña is anticipated to affect temperature and precipitation across the United States during the upcoming months," the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said in its monthly forecast.
Last month, the weather forecaster had said the chances of La Niña conditions continuing through the winter were at 70% to 80%.
The center said the forecaster consensus also anticipates La Niña continuing through the winter, with ENSO-neutral conditions predicted to return in March-May 2022.
ENSO-neutral conditions refer to those periods in which neither El Niño nor La Niña are present, often coinciding with the transition between the two weather patterns, according to the center.
La Nina refers to the large-scale cooling of surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, occurring every two to seven years.
The effect has widespread impacts on weather around the world -- typically the opposite impacts to the El Nino phenomenon, which has a warming influence on global temperatures. - with a report from Agence France-Presse