El Nino weakens, here comes La Nina, federal meteorologists say

WASHINGTON — In the midst of a major El Nino, federal meteorologists say its flip side, La Nina, is around the corner.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center reports that El Nino is weakening but likely to stick around a couple more months. At the same time, NOAA issued a formal watch for a fall arrival of La Nina.

Prediction center deputy director Mike Halpert said it often means dry weather for parts of California, which haven't quite recovered from a four-year drought.

El Nino is the natural warming of parts of the Pacific that alters weather worldwide. La Nina, with cooler Pacific waters, often has opposite effects.

This El Nino which started a year ago has been one of the strongest on record.