EL NIÑO'S POWERFUL REACH   What is
El Niņo?
Clues From
the Past
Long Distance
Connections
Winners &
Losers
El Niņo
Lowdown

Left 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Warmer Water Right

An El Niņo occurs when the atmosphere and ocean waters interact to form warmer than normal water in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. Sometimes an El Niņo is followed by a La Niņa whose effects on weather patterns are generally opposite to those caused by an El Niņo. Sea Surface Temperatures
Sea Surface Temperatures
Sea Surface Temperatures
(Top) Normal sea surface temperatures. (Middle) Sea surface temperatures during an El Niņo. Notice the red areas to the west of South America. (Bottom) Sea surface temperatures during a La Niņa. Notice the blue areas to the west of South America.