El Nino and La Nina

El Niño and La Niña are parts of an oscillation in the ocean-atmosphere system (called the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO cycle) that can impact weather and climate conditions across the globe. El Niño features warmer-than-average temperatures in the waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, while La Niña features colder-than-average waters. Read our stories below on the latest ENSO conditions and research into how the cycle affects global weather patterns.
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Massive Bird Die-Off Puzzles Alaskan Scientists
Common Murres
February 1st, 2016
Thousands of dead seabirds have washed up on Alaskan shores over the past nine months. And while a dead bird washing ashore is a fairly common occurrence, these large numbers are leaving scientists concerned and confused.
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A Hurricane? In January? You Can Thank El Niño
hurricane joaquin
January 12th, 2016
Hurricane Pali is the earliest ever recorded hurricane in the Central Pacific, a rare winter tropical cyclone that benefited from a strong El Niño.
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DIY Halloween Costumes: 7 Geeky Getups for Any Party
Doc Brown costume.
October 27th, 2015
There's still time to assemble an appropriately geeky getup in time for this weekend's festivities.
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NASA Sees Massive Winter Storm Moving East
Winter Storm Photo - NOAA GOES-West
January 21st, 2016
A satellite image shows a developing winter storm moving east toward the mid-Atlantic states.
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Venomous Sea Snake Washes Up on California Beach, Surprising Scientists
Yellow-bellied sea snake on the sand.
December 22nd, 2015
Two venomous sea snakes have washed up on Southern California beaches in 2015.
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Wet (But Warm) Winter: Strong El Niño to Usher in Lots of Rain
Map of waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, revealing an El Nino is on its way.
October 15th, 2015
A strong El Niño is brewing in the Pacific, which should bring warmer and wetter weather across the Southern and Eastern United States.
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El Niño Expected to Strengthen, Bring Wild Weather Across US
A comparison of sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific in 1997 (a strong El Nino year) and 2015.
November 16th, 2015
This year's particularly strong El Niño is expected to get even stronger before it's done.
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Upcoming El Niño May Be As Wild As 1997 Event
Map of waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, revealing an El Nino is on its way.
October 14th, 2015
El Niño is expected to be more beast than "little boy" this year — a forecast about the weather pattern that becomes clear in newly released maps of the waters around the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
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