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

Globe-style map of the tropical Pacific Ocean showing difference from average temperature in July 2019

El Niño Advisory

The El Niño of 2019 is officially done. Neutral conditions have returned to the tropical Pacific, and of the three possible outcomes—El Niño, La Niña, or neutral—forecasters favor neutral to persist through Northern Hemisphere 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)
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

map of sea surface temperature with waters less than 80F in shades of blue, and waters above 80F in shades of yellow and orange

August 2019 El Niño Update: Stick a fork in it

August 8, 2019

El Niño has ended, bringing a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions. How long can we expect neutral conditions to last?

Read more

(top left) Sea surface temperature map for the week of July 13, 2019, showing tropical instability waves in the eastern tropical Pacific, a common feature in this region.