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


ENSO-neutral conditions are favored to continue through at least the Northern Hemisphere spring 2017, with increasing—but uncertain—chances for El Niño development into the fall.

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)
ENSO alert system criteria
ENSO essentials
Educational Resources on ENSO

By modifying the Pacific jet streams, El Niño and La Niña can affect temperature and precipitation across the United States. The influence on the U.S. is strongest during the Northern Hemisphere winter. This map shows typical impacts of La Niña on U.S. winter weather. These impacts have been associated with La Niña events in the past, but “associated with” doesn’t mean that all of these impacts happen during every La Niña episode.

Current outlooks
February–April 2017 U.S. outlook
Typical U.S La Niña impacts
Drought in the U.S. Southeast
Winter temperature and precipitation

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 global rainfall and temperature patterns during La Niña. However, it's important to remember that we may not see all impacts during every event. NOAA Climate.gov map.

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

temperature,forecast, winter outlook, verification

Winter Outlook 2017–How did we do?

March 9, 2017

In this week's ENSO blog, Tom Di Liberto from the Climate Prediction Center talks about the hits and misses of the 2016-17 Winter Outlook.


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.

Western Region
California Winter Status Update
January 26, 4 - 6 pm EST