By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released a report on Thursday that said sea surface temperatures were mostly near to below normal along the equator in the Pacific Ocean, indicating that La Niña is fading away.

Neutral conditions are expected in the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean for the next several months.

The report warned that El Niño could potentially develop at some point during the upcoming winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

heavy rain NOAA Says La Niña Is Fading, But An El Niño Possible Next Winter

Heavy rain from the Mobile Weather Lab during a monsoon thunderstorm along the Front Range. (credit: CBS)

As summer weather patterns set up in Colorado over the next several weeks we’ll be looking for the return of the North American Monsoon, which is a seasonal shift in the prevailing wind that happens each year.

The wind shift transports warm, moist air up the western coast of Mexico and into desert southwest and the southern and central Rockies. It helps to spawn afternoon showers and thunderstorms between June and September.

In Colorado the monsoon is especially prevalent during late July and most of August.

alameda and santa fe rainbow from werthmann NOAA Says La Niña Is Fading, But An El Niño Possible Next Winter

Alameda and Santa Fe rainbow after severe storms hit on June 24, 2015. (credit: Kelly Werthmann)

Some years the moisture flow is strong and we see problems with heavy rain and even flash flooding. In other years the monsoon can be weak and thunderstorms aren’t as numerous.

Only time will tell what this summer will be like but our fingers are crossed for some much needed rain in the drought stricken parts of our state.

monsoon nutu NOAA Says La Niña Is Fading, But An El Niño Possible Next Winter

The North American Monsoon is a seasonal shift in the prevailing wind. That wind brings rich tropical air into the normally dry desert southwest and central/southern Rockies, resulting in afternoon showers and storms that can produce locally heavy rain. (credit: CBS)

Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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