Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

New La Nina Watch Issued

By Paul J. Weber
|  Thursday, Aug 4, 2011  |  Updated 12:28 PM CDT
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New La Nina Watch Issued

An extreme drought is declared when there's major damage to crops or pasture and widespread water shortages or restrictions.

Climatologists say the La Nina weather conditions that contributed to the drought affecting most of Texas may re-occur later this year and prolong the misery for the state's farmers and ranchers.

The Climate Prediction Center issued a La Nina watch on Thursday, just two months after announcing the last La Nina had ended. The weather pattern is marked by a cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean and it typically results in less rain for southern states.

La Ninas contributed to the worst drought in Texas history, in the 1950s. Nearly three-quarters of the state is currently in what the U.S. Drought Monitor classifies as the worst stage of drought.

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for neutral conditions through fall but "neutral or La Nina equally likely thereafter."

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