El Niño & La Niña (El Niño-Southern Oscillation)

Globe-style map of the tropical Pacific Ocean showing difference from average temperature in February 2019

El Niño Advisory

Weak El Nino conditions are likely to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2019 (~80% chance) and summer (~60% chance). The current event bears some similarities to the 2015 spring El Niño that went on to become a strong event by winter. However, it's too soon to tell whether this event will follow the same path. 

More ENSO status information
Latest official ENSO update
Latest ENSO blog update

(image at left) Difference from average sea surface temperatures at the equator in the tropical Pacific. 

El Niño and La Niña are the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific—the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or “ENSO” for short.

The pattern can shift back and forth irregularly every two to seven years, and each phase triggers predictable disruptions of temperature, precipitation, and winds.

These changes disrupt the large-scale air movements in the tropics, triggering a cascade of global side effects.

More about El Niño
What is El Niño in a nutshell?
Understanding El Niño (video)
FAQs
ENSO alert system criteria
ENSO essentials
Educational Resources on ENSO

El Niño is anchored in the tropical Pacific, but it affects seasonal climate "downstream" in the United States. This map shows some of the precipitation and temperature impacts we may experience if El Niño develops this winter as predicted, but not all impacts occur during every event, and their strength and exact location can vary. 

Typical U.S La Niña impacts
Winter temperature and precipitation
Hurricane season impacts
Current outlooks
6-10 day outlook
8-14 day outlook
1-month outlook
3-month outlook

El Niño and La Niña have their strongest impact on global climate during the Northern Hemisphere winter.  The map at left shows some of the precipitation and temperature patterns that might occur this coming winter if El Niño develops as predicted. However, not all impacts appear during every El Niño event.  

More information
ENSO's cascade of global impacts
The Walker Circulation
More maps of global impacts of La Niña and El Niño

March 2019 El Niño Update: Think spring

March 14, 2019

El Niño conditions continued into March. What do forecasters think is next?

Read more

(left) Cloudiness across the tropical Pacific in February 2019 compared to the 1981-2010 average. The pattern is classic El Niño: clearer than average over Indonesia and cloudier than average over the central Pacific.