La Niña

La Niña
La Niña [lä nē′nyä]
Sp, fem. of EL NIÑO
periodic, significant cooling of the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which causes abnormal weather patterns: cf. EL NIÑO

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La Niña (lä nēnʹyä) n.
A cooling of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America, occurring periodically every 4 to 12 years and affecting Pacific and other weather patterns.
  [American Spanish, the girl (to distinguish it from El Niño) : Spanish la, the (from Latin illa. See al-1 + niña, daughter (from Old Spanish ninna, from Vulgar Latin *nīnna).]

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Cyclic counterpart to El Niño, consisting of a cooling of surface waters of the Pacific Ocean along the western coast of South America.

While its local effects on weather and climate are generally the opposite of those associated with El Niño, its global effects can be more complex. La Niña events often follow El Niños, which occur at irregular intervals of about 5–10 years.

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