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El Nino-Southern Oscillation Meaning




The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) meter
is measuring a naturally occurring phenomenon
that involves fluctuating ocean temperatures
in the equatorial Pacific.


El Niño means The Little Boy, or Christ Child in Spanish. El Niño was originally recognized by fishermen off the coast of South America
in the 1600s, with the appearance of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The name was chosen based on the time of year
(around December) during which these warm waters events tended to occur.

The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface
temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.

Typical El Niño effects are likely to develop over North America during the upcoming winter season. Those include warmer-than-average
temperatures over western and central Canada, and over the western and northern United States. Wetter-than-average conditions are
likely over portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, while drier-than-average conditions can be expected in the Ohio Valley and the
Pacific Northwest. The presence of El Niño can significantly influence weather patterns, ocean conditions, and marine fisheries across
large portions of the globe for an extended period of time.

La Niña

La Niña means The Little Girl in Spanish. La Niña is also sometimes called El Viejo, anti-El Niño, or simply "a cold event.

La Niña episodes represent periods of below-average sea surface temperatures across the east-central Equatorial Pacific.
Global climate La Niña impacts tend to be opposite those of El Niño impacts. In the tropics, ocean temperature variations
in La Niña also tend to be opposite those of El Niño.

During a La Niña year, winter temperatures are warmer than normal in the Southeast and cooler than normal in the Northwest.