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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Latest Articles

Extreme El Niños Could Hit Twice As Often
Australia dust storm
January 19th, 2014
The most intense El Niño events may soon hit every 10 years, instead of every 20 years, thanks to warming water in the eastern Pacific Ocean, a new study predicts.
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Why the Southwest Keeps Seeing Droughts
haboob-arizona-110706
July 11th, 2013
Natural cycles in Pacific and Atlantic oceans' sea-surface temperatures combined to create extreme heat and drought across the United States. About 10 years ago, the two ocean patterns flipped back into their big drought phase. This time, they're getting
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Why El Niño May Say 'Adios' to 2012
sea surface height anomalies
November 9th, 2012
Forecasters call off predictions for a wet winter.
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November Was the Hottest on Earth Since 1880
global temperatures in november 2013
December 17th, 2013
Last month was the hottest November on record since 1880, new climate data suggests. And the odds that next year will be even hotter are rising.
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Tropical Ice Reveals Rare Climate Record
Quelccaya glacier in 1977
April 4th, 2013
A shrinking tropical glacier gives up an 1,800-year climate record.
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Elusive El Nino Challenges NOAA’s 2012 U.S. Winter Outlook
El nino may return in 2012
October 19th, 2012
Warmer-than-average winter predicted for the northwest and colder-than-normal for the southeast.
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El Niño's Odds at 50% for 2012
June 7th, 2012
After two years of La Niña, El Niño may now get its turn.
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Cooler Pacific Ocean May Explain Climate Change Paradox
earth and thermometer showing increasing global surface temperatures
August 28th, 2013
Cooling sea-surface temperatures over the tropical Pacific Ocean — part of a natural warm and cold cycle — may explain why global average temperatures have stabilized in recent years, even as greenhouse gas emissions have been warming the planet.
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Why El Niño May Say 'Adios' to 2012
sea surface temperature anomalies
November 9th, 2012
Forecasters call off predictions for a wet winter.
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Chance of El Niño Developing This Year Increases
El nino may return in 2012
July 5th, 2012
El Niño may now get its turn after La Niña reigned for months.
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