With below-average sea temperatures beginning to warm, La Niña peaked in mid-February. It’s transitioning toward ENSO-neutral conditions during March through May 2012, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials.

“The big debate right now is how much of a lingering La Niña footprint will remain through the spring planting season,” says Drew Lerner, who has forecasted crop weather for 30 years as owner of World Weather, Inc.

“There’s a high probability that La Niña will still be with us through at least the first half of spring, with a footprint into the second half.”

Traditionally, the presence of La Niña or its footprintmeans an increased chance for above-average temperatures across the south-central and southeastern U.S., and below-average temperatures in the northwest for the March through April time period.

Read the complete report at: Weaker La Niña for planting.