La Niña conditions returned in late summer and are expected to strengthen and advance into the Northern Hemisphere through the winter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center.

 During the October through December 2011 period, there is evidence that La Niña favors an increased chance of above-average temperatures across the country’s mid-section.

 La Niña winters often see drier than normal conditions across the southern tier of the United States and wetter than normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Ohio Valley. Long term, this means drought is likely to continue in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, according to Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. La Niña also often brings colder winters to the Pacific Northwest and the northern Plains, and warmer temperatures to the southern states.

 The Corn Belt will feel La Niña’s effects through the end of the year. “Moving into this fall, the Corn Belt region could see warm, dry weather conditions,” says Jon Gottshalk, NOAA Climate Prediction Center. “With La Niña we have a four in five chance of below-normal precipitation for November through March.” Gottshalk adds that as the winter months proceed there is a tendency for the northern Corn Belt to return to colder temperatures.

 For details on the Midwest weather and climate events, go to