El Niño & La Niña (El Niño-Southern Oscillation)
We’ve had neutral ENSO conditions since January, and forecasters predict that continued neutral is the most likely scenario through at least June. By September, chances of El Niño rise to about 50%, a slight edge over neutral (~40% chance) or La Niña (~10% chance).
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.
By modifying the Pacific jet streams, El Niño can affect seasonal temperature and precipitation across the United States, mostly in the winter.
This map shows typical impacts of El Niñ on U.S. winter weather. These impacts have been associated with El Niño events in the past, but “associated with” doesn’t mean that all of these impacts happen during every El Niño episode.
El Niño and La Niña have their strongest impact on global climate during the Northern Hemisphere winter & early spring. The map at left shows typical December-February global rainfall and temperature patterns during El Niño. However, it's important to remember that we may not see all impacts during every event. NOAA Climate.gov map.
March 9, 2017
Many of the computer models are predicting the development of El Niño over the next several months, but current conditions in the tropical Pacific aren’t showing many of the elements we’d expect ahead of a developing El Niño.
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ENSO across NOAA
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Regional & Local Impacts
Events & Announcements
NOAA National Weather Service Daily Briefing
Briefing page with forecasts, discussions, maps, assessments, and severe weather outlooks for today’s developing weather patterns across the United States.
El Nino: What's Next?
February 18, 11 am CT
Hosted by SCIPP
NOAA Monthly Climate Briefing for Media
Thursday, February 18, at 11 am EST
Teleconference for public media on past month’s weather & climate conditions for the U.S. & globe, an update on El Niño, and NOAA’s 3-month climate outlook.
California Winter Status Update
January 26, 4 - 6 pm EST