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

Map of tropical Pacific showing where surface temperatures were warmer or cooler than average in January 2019.

El Niño Advisory

Weak El Nino conditions are present in the tropical Pacific, and are likely to persist through spring 2019. Due to the expected weak strength, widespread or significant global impacts are not anticipated. However, some localized areas may experiences impacts during the next few months.

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)
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

February 2019 ENSO Update: El Niño conditions are here

February 14, 2018

After several months of flirting, the tropical Pacific ocean and atmosphere appear to have coupled just in time for Valentine’s Day, and now meet the criteria for El Niño conditions. Is it true love? 

Read more

Departure from average of the surface and subsurface tropical Pacific sea temperature averaged over 5-day periods from June 2018 through February 13, 2019.