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Goodbye La Nina: Will drought, hurricanes also go?

Hurricane Irene was hyped to be the storm that would take New York City down. While it barely affected the Big Apple, it took an enormous toll on surrounding states.
AP Photo/NOAA

(CBS/AP) WASHINGTON - The La Nina weather phenomenon is over. Forecasters say that's good news for the drought in the South and hurricane areas along the coasts.

The National Weather Service pronounced the two-year La Nina finished on Thursday. La Nina is the flip side of El Nino and is caused by the cooling of the central Pacific Ocean. La Nina's greatest effects are in the winter, usually triggering drought in the U.S. South and more rain further north. It also often means more hurricane activity in the Atlantic during the summer. Global temperatures are cooler during La Ninas, especially in the tropics.

(See Bill Whitaker's reports on La Nina at left).

CBS Miami reports that in South Florida, the end of La Nina could have an impact on hurricane season. During a La Nina, the chances of the continental U.S. and the Caribbean Islands having to deal with hurricane activity increases substantially. Conversely, El Nino hurricane activity for the continental U.S. and Caribbean Islands decreases to some degree.

Meteorologists reported some drought relief in Texas earlier this year. But recently drought conditions intensified again in parts of Texas and much of the Southeast.