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NOAA now sees 80% chance of La Niña extending through spring 2018

La Niña conditions grew stronger over the last month, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's latest outlook, updated Dec. 14, highlighting an 80% chance that it will last through the winter before transitioning to neutral during the mid-to-late spring.

This compares to the agency's prior monthly forecast calling for a 65% to 75% chance that weak La Niña conditions will continue through the winter of 2018.

La Niña is likely to affect temperature and precipitation across the United States during the upcoming months.

Defined by cooler sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, a La Niña event often brings more supportive fundamentals for U.S. natural gas and electricity markets, including a higher probability of colder winters, hotter summers and increased tropical activity in the Atlantic basin.