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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Odds of El Niño Drop; Still Expected to Form
Warm Episodes Relationships map, el nino
August 7th, 2014
The chances of an El Niño forming by winter have dropped to 65 percent, still double the normal odds.
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Six Months In and Sizzling California Sets Record
US Statewide Average Temp Graph, hottest temperatures, climate change
July 16th, 2014
January-June 2014 was the warmest first half to a year ever in California, helping fuel the state's drought.
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Highest Global Temps on Record for Month of May
Surface temperatures May 2014
June 23rd, 2014
May was the warmest month ever measured on Earth since the 1880s, when cowboys battled in Wild West shootouts and the State of Liberty was built.
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Whiffs of Antarctic Sulfur Hold Climate Clues
August 4th, 2014
Huge wildfires sparked by a powerful El Niño event 16 years ago left a distinct tinge of sulfur in Antarctica's snow.
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California's 2014 Rainfall Totals Approach Record Lows
California rainfall
June 30th, 2014
California's rainfall year ended today, and though the final totals aren't yet official, the parched state will likely end up with one of its lowest rainfall years since the 1920s.
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El Niño Likely: 70 Percent Chance by Summer
The 10-day average sea-surface height centered on May 2, 1997 (left), and May 3, 2014.
June 5th, 2014
The chance of an El Niño developing this year continues to rise. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center puts the odds at a 70 percent likelihood of an El Niño this month and 80 percent during the fall and winter.
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Why Do We Care So Much About El Niño?
Sea surface height map
July 24th, 2014
The obsessive attention to the state of the latest El Niño comes from the major global impacts it can have.
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Explainer: El Niño and La Niña
Australia's weather, el nino, la nina
June 23rd, 2014
We wait in anticipation of droughts and floods when El Niño and La Niña are forecast but what are these climatic events?
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Drastic Drop in Baby Brown Pelicans: Blame El Niño?
Baby brown pelican
June 4th, 2014
California brown pelicans almost completely failed to breed at their nesting sites in Mexico this year.
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