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.

Near the Earth’s equator, solar heating is intense year round. Converging trade winds and abundant water vapor all combine to produce a persistent belt of daily showers known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

As far back as August 2010, NOAA's seasonal climate models predicted that rainfall would be heavier than normal across Indonesia and Southeast Asia in early 2011. The cause? La Niña.

In May and June each year, speculation about the coming of the monsoon fills newspapers and conversations across India. Everyone is concerned about if, when, and how much rain will arrive. But none have more at stake than India’s over 100 million farming households.

The total amount of water on Earth isn’t increasing, but the volume of liquid that fills the ocean is growing as ice and snow on land melt. The water is also getting warmer, which makes it expand. 

The 2014 Water Education Summit--"Think Globally, Act Locally"--is scheduled for Sept. 8-10 in Asheville, N.C.

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