Look for La Niña conditions to continue for the second straight year, according to a University of Florida weather forecaster.

Clyde Fraisse says the weather pattern, which was responsible for the drought in the Southeast, in likelihood will continue through at least January.

The dry conditions associated with the weather patterns actually are a boon to many vegetable growers because they cut fungal and bacterial infections, according to a news release.

The lower disease pressure may mean fewer fungicidal sprays are needed.

But viruses, such as tomato spotted wilt virus and white fly-vectored tomato yellow leaf curl virus are more troublesome.

Higher nighttime temperatures also can cause problems with fruit set in some vegetables, such as tomatoes.

El Niño occurs when surface water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean along the equator are wamer than normal.

La Niña, the opposite of El Niño, occurs when surface water temperatures in the same area are colder than normal.

It typically brings warmer and drier conditions to the Southeast.

These phenomenon tend to developing from April through June and reach maximum strength in December through February.

They typically last nine to 12 months.