NOAA researchers have built a "time machine" for weather that provides detailed snapshots of the global atmosphere from 1891 to 2008. The system's ability to "hindcast" past weather events is emerging as a powerful new tool for detecting and quantifying climate change.

For years, people have been pointing to El Niño as the culprit behind floods, droughts, famines, economic failures, and record-breaking global heat. Can a single climate phenomenon really cause all these events? Is the world just a step away from disaster when El Niño conditions develop?

The Southern Oscillation Index tracks differences in air pressure between the eastern and western sides of the tropical Pacific.

El Niño and La Niña conditions occur when abnormally warm or cool waters accumulate in tropical latitudes of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. The Oceanic Nino Index is the tool NOAA scienitsts use to watch for these temperature changes. 

Part science expert, part ringmaster, Jessica Blunden shares the challenges and the value of putting together the State of the Climate report every year.

“El Niño is Strong!” “No, it’s Moderate!” “But the [insert your favorite ENSO indicator here] is the largest it’s been since the El Niño of 1997-98!”

There’s a very high probability that El Niño will continue through the fall and early winter, and it could become a strong event.

Everyone's asking if the arrival of El Niño guarantees that 2015 will set a new record for warmest global temperature. In his latest blog, Deke Arndt explains why it's possible--maybe even likely--but not guaranteed.

El Niño is the 800-pound gorilla for the winter climate in the U.S., but in summer, it's more like a 6-pound Chihuahua.

reason for the spring barrier

Why is it so difficult to make a good ENSO prediction during the Northern Hemisphere spring? 

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