The ongoing drought of 2011-2012 has been front and center for people in the southern United States, including the southwestern United States. Dave Brown, Director of Climate Services for the Southern Region through NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, speaks about the causes, impacts, and outlook for this widepread climate event.

Jake Crouch of the National Climatic Data Center recaps the temperature patterns of 2011, emphasizing the much greater than average warmth across Arctic latitudes and the influence of La Niña in the tropical Pacific.

During spring 2011, the Northern Great Plains experienced record flooding. This video explains how a La Niña climate pattern helped set the stage for this extreme event.

An expert on climate conditions in East Africa describes the climate factors behind the 2011 drought, which has contributed to food insecurity and famine.

Between January and April 2010, temperatures in the Pacific were under the warming influence of a fading El Niño episode. Meanwhile, higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere were dominated by a strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation.

In early 2010, water temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific were warmer than average, but a summertime reversal cooled the region off over the rest of the year.

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