LOS ANGELES (AP) — Government weather forecasters say La Niña is here.

La Niña, the flip side of El Niño, is caused by the cooling of the central Pacific Ocean that affects weather patterns worldwide.

Mike Halpert of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday he expects La Niña conditions to be weak and short-lived.

In the United States, La Niña conditions usually means wetter winters in the northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest and Ohio Valley and warmer, drier conditions in the southern parts, including drought-stricken California.

NOAA says there’s a 55 percent chance La Niña will last through winter.

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