What is El Niño simple definition?

The term El Niño (Spanish for ‘the Christ Child’) refers to a warming of the ocean surface, or above-average sea surface temperatures, in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

What is El Niño and why does it occur?

An El Niño condition occurs when surface water in the equatorial Pacific becomes warmer than average and east winds blow weaker than normal. The opposite condition is called La Niña. During this phase of ENSO, the water is cooler than normal and the east winds are stronger. El Niños typically occur every 3 to 5 years.

What El Niño Do?

El Niño has an impact on ocean temperatures, the speed and strength of ocean currents, the health of coastal fisheries, and local weather from Australia to South America and beyond. El Niño events occur irregularly at two- to seven-year intervals.

When was the last El Niño?

Since 2000, El Niño events have been observed in 2002–03, 2004–05, 2006–07, 2009–10, 2014–16, and 2018–19. Major ENSO events were recorded in the years 1790–93, 1828, 1876–78, 1891, 1925–26, 1972–73, 1982–83, 1997–98, and 2014–16.

Is El Niño wet or dry?

Weather typically differs markedly from north to south during an El Niño event (wet in south, dry in north) but also usually varies greatly within one region from event to event.

Does El Niño mean more rain?

The Short Answer: El Niño is a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean. During this time, unusual winds cause warm surface water from the equator to move east, toward Central and South America. El Niño can cause more rain than usual in South and Central America and in the United States.

Does El Niño mean more snow?

A strong El Niño makes it more likely that there will be a snowier than average winter in the northern Colorado Front Range and eastern plains, for example, but whether that means a little snowier or a lot isn’t predictable based on the strength of El Niño alone.

How long does an El Niño last?

Both El Niño and La Niña can last more than a year, but it is rare for El Niño events to last longer than a year or so, while it is common for La Niña to last for two years or more. The longest El Nino in the modern record lasted 18 months, while the longest la Niña lasted 33 months.

Is this an El Niño or La Niña year?

Based on all the available data, an official La Nina watch is still in effect, released by the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center: “La Niña is likely to continue into the Northern Hemisphere spring (77% chance during March-May 2022) and then transition to ENSO-neutral (56% chance during May-July 2022).