WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued an alert on Tuesday for a La Nina weather event next month, saying the chance it would take place was triple the normal likelihood.
The bureau pegged the chance of a La Nina at 70 percent, adding that all its models reached La Nina thresholds in December with most models suggesting it would last until at least February.
La Nina is characterized by cooler waters in the tropical Pacific. While a La Nina can be less damaging than an El Nino, which occurs when there are warmer waters in the Pacific, severe Las Ninas are also linked to floods, droughts and hurricanes.
The BOM said in the alert on its website that the event would likely be weaker and shorter than the strong La Nina that occurred between 2010 and 2012 and brought devastating floods to Australia.
A U.S. government weather forecaster this month said La Nina conditions are predicted to continue through the Northern hemisphere winter 2017-18.
(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Adrian Croft)