El Niño is officially pronounced dead by U.S. weather experts

Costa Rica’s weather is now up in the air.

The  U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared El Niño dead. This is the giant weather phenomenon that has left Guanacaste and much of the Pacific coast parched. The situation has generated emergency alerts in Costa Rica and efforts to provide water to people and livestock.

The weather pattern was so big and so bad that the U.S. space agency, NASA, called it Godzilla.

The system in the far Pacific began in March 2015. The big question now is what comes next. Typically after a period of neutral conditions La Niña, the cooler opposite, develops.

The weather pattern, defined by warmer-than-average Pacific Ocean water, was one of the three strongest El Niños on record,

along with 1997-1998 and 1982-83, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It has been linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods over the past year.

In the U.S., it delivered much-needed rain and snow to California, but failed to end the parched state’s four-year drought.

The cyclical weather phenomenon also triggered droughts in parts of Africa, India and Southeast Asia, and contributed to the heating up of the planet. The Earth has had 12 straight record hot months and is likely to have its second straight record hot year.

The El Niño cycles occur every two or three years on average.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts a 50 percent chance of La Niña by the end of the hemisphere’s summer, and a 75 percent chance by the end of the fall.

La Niña generally brings more hurricanes to the Atlantic.

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