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

LA NIÑA ADVISORY

La Niña strengthened in November, and there is now a greater than 80% chance that it will continue through the winter. The event is predicted to be a weak-to-moderate strength one. The strength of an event isn't strongly linked to the strength of the impacts in the U.S., but strength does increase the likelihood that at least some level of the typical impacts will be felt. The next update will be on January 11.

More ENSO status information
Latest official ENSO update
Latest ENSO blog update
ENSO Monitoring at the Climate Prediction Center

 

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

La Niña, winter impacts

Cooler and wetter in the Northwest, warmer and drier across the South

La Niña is anchored in the tropical Pacific, but through the jet streams, it affects seasonal climate "downstream" in the United States. This map shows typical impacts of La Niña on U.S. winter weather based on past La Niñas, but the exact location and strength of impacts vary from event to event, and some might not occur at all. 

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

La Niña winters

El Niño and La Niña have their strongest impact on global climate during the Northern Hemisphere winter.  The map at left shows typical December-February rainfall and temperature patterns during La Niña winters, but we may not see all impacts during every event. 

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

December 2017 La Niña update: Double, double

December 14, 2017

Our second La Niña year in a row is in full swing now, and is forecast to last through the winter. Double-dip La Niña events are pretty common, but this one is unusual in at least one way. 

Find out how

 

(image at left) Monthly sea surface temperature anomalies in the key ENSO-monitoring region of the tropical Pacific in 2017 compared to other events since 1950.