Climate indicators for an El Nino event in the western Pacific have eased slightly in the past fortnight, but meteorologists still expect the weather pattern in late 2012. The pattern typically brings below average rainfall for the Asia Pacific region, threatening the yields of agricultural crops, while America is often hit by wetter than average weather.
Northeast Africa continues to reel from the effects of the worst drought to strike the region in decades. The arid conditions are contributing to famines that the U.S. Department of State says are affecting more than 11.5 million people, particularly in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. The drought is tied to strong La Nina conditions that prevailed in late 2010 and early 2011. La Nina shifts ocean temperatures and air pressure over the Pacific Ocean, causing effects that ripple through weather patterns around the world. In East Africa, La Nina typically brings drought.