WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Conditions in the Pacific Ocean are beginning to show signals that a strong El Niño pattern similar to the one seen in 1997 could take hold this winter, according to Nasa's Earth Observatory.
El Niño is a weather pattern that develops from a warm band of water in the Pacific near the equator. The resulting weather patterns can cause heavy precipitation in the southwest United States, but warmer and drier winters in the northern Midwest and Northeast.
Residents currently battling the drought in California and other western states may think the wet winter could be a cure, but heavy rains on severely dried out lands can cause problems as well, NASA said.
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