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El Nino & La Nina

What Are El Niño and La Niña?
Image: NASA

What Are El Niño and La Niña?

Droughts in Asia. Heavy rains and flooding along the Pacific coast. Ice storms in Canada. All three are a result of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle and its opposite phases, El Niño and La Niña.

Take a closer look at these deviations in the normal surface temperatures around the equator, first recognized by fishermen in the 1600s.

NOAA
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El Niño/La Niña

El Niño/La Niña

The El Niño/La Niña of the late 1990s affected weather around the globe. Get the details about "nature's vicious cycle." More...

Interactive
National Geographic
El Nino and La Nina Explained

El Nino and La Nina Explained

The ENSO cycle is behind Australia's dramatic shifts in weather — droughts one year, floods another. Get the "furry facts" for these weather events. More...

Video
Sydney Morning Herald
Tracking El Niño

Tracking El Niño

We know that El Niño brings warmer waters to the eastern Pacific. But scientists are still debating the why and how of this tropical phenomenon. Read more. More...

Article
NOVA/PBS
Deconstructing a Mystery: What Caused Snowmageddon?

Deconstructing a Mystery: What Caused Snowmageddon?

Do you remember the winter of 2009-2010? The eastern U.S. got so much snow it was called "Snowmageddon"! Scientists want to know if El Niño or La Niña helped cause it. More...

Article
NASA
El Nino Seen as Trigger for Violence in the Tropics

El Nino Seen as Trigger for Violence in the Tropics

El Niño impacts weather around the world. But did you ever think that there could be a connection between El Niño and violence? Listen to this story! More...

Article
NPR
El Nino to La Nina

El Nino to La Nina

The warm waters of El Nino quickly cooled in 2010, giving way to a strong La Nina. See some of the weather disasters this change brought about. More...

Video
AMNH
El Niño: Frequently Asked Questions

El Niño: Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an intensity scale for El Nino? How accurate are the models used to make predictions? Get answers to those questions and more. More...

Article
NOVA/PBS
La Niña

La Niña

Health specialists worried about a global flu pandemic may want to keep an eye on the weather phenomenon known as "La Niña." Find out why in this article. More...

Article
BBC
La Niña vs. El Niño

La Niña vs. El Niño

El Niño and La Niña are opposite extremes in the surface temperature of waters in the eastern Pacific ocean. But what does that really mean? More...

Article
AccuWeather
Make Your Own El Niño

Make Your Own El Niño

Want to see the warm and cool waters of El Niño for yourself? Just follow the directions in this hands-on project. More...

Activity
NASA
Weather-Maker Patterns: An Interactive Map

Weather-Maker Patterns: An Interactive Map

Atmospheric patterns shape Earth's weather and climate. Research the North Atlantic Oscillation, El Niño and La Niña, and other regional oscillations. More...

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UCAR
What Is La Niña?

What Is La Niña?

La Niña is essentially the opposite of El Niño. This condition brings colder than usual waters to the eastern Pacific. Read more! More...

Article
NOAA

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