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

A spherical map projection centered on the tropical Pacific Ocean, showing temperature patterns in June 2018

El Niño Advisory

It’s likely that the temperature of the tropical Pacific Ocean surface will return to near-average soon, qualifying for “ENSO-neutral” conditions. Neutral conditions are favored to remain through the fall and winter.

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)
FAQs
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

Animated gif of a vertical cross-section of the Pacific at the equator showing temperature patterns in the upper layers of the ocean

July 2019 El Niño update: I think I’ll go for a walk

July 11, 2019

El Niño is hanging on by its fingernails, but forecasters predict this event will wind down within the next couple of months. Emily Becker from the Climate Prediction Center previews what's in store for the rest of the year.

Read more

(left) The deep pool of warm water below the surface of the tropical Pacific is diminishing.