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La Nina could bring summer heat, help fuel hurricanes

(NewsNation) — The upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to include above-normal activity, in part because of developing La Nina conditions in the Pacific, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

One of the strongest-ever observed El Ninos is ending, ushering in La Nina conditions that are more conducive to Atlantic hurricanes, per the NOAA.

La Nina summers that develop after El Nino winters tend to be some of the hottest on record in the United States, CNN Weather reported. With El Nino’s ability to tear apart storms in the rearview mirror, it’s also possible that more storms will form.

La Nina is a cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. The event generally happens every three to five years, but according to NOAA, it’s possible for La Nina conditions to last for years.

The administration’s forecasting team predicts a 65% chance La Nina will arrive between July and September.

La Nina can intensify Atlantic hurricane activity because it often lessens the wind shear in the tropics. Meanwhile, heating ocean waters in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea offers more fuel for storms to develop, according to the NOAA.

Record-approaching warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and reduced Atlantic trade winds are also working in favor of hurricane development, according to the NOAA.