The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says a weak La Niña event continued in November, which may linger through February 2017. However, models signal a likely transition to ENSO-neutral conditions between January and March 2017, signaling a short-lived event.
According to the official "probabilities" chart, there is a 51% chance of La Niña lingering through February, but a 55% chance neutral conditions will be seen during the January-March window. NOAA gives low odds of El Niño developing by fall 2017.
"La Niña is anticipated to affect temperature and precipitation across the United States during the upcoming months," states NOAA, noting the extended outlook will be updated next week. "The current seasonal outlook for DJF (December-January-February) 2016-17 favors above-average temperatures and below-median precipitation across much of the southern tier of the U.S., and below-average temperatures and above-median precipitation in portions of the northern tier of the United States."
Also key is whether or not La Niña impacts South American weather during its key crop development stage. Some forecasters link the current drier-than-normal trend in Argentina to La Niña.