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

A spherical map projection centered on the tropical Pacific Ocean, showing temperature anomalies in May 2018

El Niño Watch

ENSO-neutral conditions are favored through Northern Hemisphere summer 2018, with the chance for El Niño rising to 50% during fall, and ~65% by winter 2018-19.

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

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

June 2018 ENSO Update: El Niño Watch!

June 14, 2018

Conditions are neutral right now in the tropical Pacific, but the odds of El Niño by fall/winter are rising. The Climate Prediction Center's Emily Becker covers the bases on this month's forecast.  

Read more


The amount of heat energy stored below the surface in the tropical Pacific this May is above average. This deep pool of warm water is likely to surface in coming months, contributing to El Niño. Graph by NOAA Climate.gov, based on data from the Climate Prediction Center.