El Nino and La Nina
El Nino is a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time. La Nina, often referred to as "anti-El Nino" is a quasi-periodic climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean and lowers the ocean temperature normally by three to five degrees Celsius They dramatically affect weather patterns, including rainfall, around the world. In general, El Niño and La Niña produce the opposite climatic effects.

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Satelitte picture of the earth during El Nino and La Nina.
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December weather during El Nino

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El Nino Weather:
  • Rain and flooding along the Pacific coast
  • Warm water disrupts food chain of fish, birds, and sea mammals
  • Tornadoes and thunderstorms in southern US
  • Fewer than normal hurricanes in the Atlantic

La Nina Weather
  • Snow and rain on the wast coast
  • Unusually cold weather in Alaska
  • Unusually warm weather in the rest of the USA
  • Drought in southwest
  • Higher than normal number of hurricanes in the Atlantic

About Geography
La Nina Vs. El NIno
Science News for KIds
NOAA
What is EL Nino