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

El Niño Advisory

A deep wave of warm water spreading eastward across the tropical Pacific in May provides confidence in June's forecast that El Niño will last through summer (66% chance). The odds that El Niño will persist through fall and winter have declined slightly in the past month (from 55-60% to 50-55%). Model predictions for sea surface temperatures later in the year are roughly split between neutral and El Niño (0.5°C or more above average). 

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. In the summer, El Niño's primary influence on U.S. climate is on the hurricane season in both the eastern Pacific and the Atlantic. 

Typical ENSO 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 influence on global climate during the Northern Hemisphere winter, but summer impacts do occur, especially in the tropics. 

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

June 2019 El Niño Update: Concentrate and ask again

June 13, 2019

El Niño is likely to stick around through the summer. The tropical Pacific trade winds slacked off in May, allowing a deep wave of warm water to begin spreading eastward. This warm wave will reinforce El Niño in coming months. What happens next is less clear, with models split between neutral and El Niño conditions for fall/winter. 

Read more

(left) How sea surface temperatures in the Niño 3.4 region of the tropical Pacific during the ongoing El Niño (purple line) compare with all El Niño years since 1950.