What Exactly are El Nino and La Nina, How Does It Affect the Weather?

El Nino and La Nina are two opposing weather patterns that disrupt normal conditions. These occurrences are known as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. Both El Nino and La Nina can have global consequences for weather, wildfires, ecosystems, and economics. El Nino and La Nina episodes normally run nine to twelve months, but can often extend years. El Nino and La Nina incidents occur every two to seven years on average, but not on a regular basis. El Nino tends to occur more frequently than La Nina.

Read More: Renewable Energy Capacity On Track To Rival Fossil Fuels In 2024

Trade winds weaken during El Nino. Warm water is pushed back east, toward the Americas’ west coast. In Spanish, El Nino means “Little Boy.” In the 1600s, South American fishermen first observed episodes of extremely warm water in the Pacific Ocean. El Nino de Navidad was the full name they chose because El Nino generally peaks in December.

El Nino can have a huge impact on our weather. Because of the warmer waters, the Pacific jet stream has moved south of its neutral location. As a result of this shift, places in the northern United States and Canada are dryer and warmer than typical. However, in the United States’ Gulf Coast and Southeast, these seasons have been wetter than typical, resulting in higher floods.

In Spanish, La Nina means “Little Girl.” La Nina is sometimes known as El Viejo, anti-El Nio, or “a cold event.” La Nina is the polar opposite of El Nino. Trade winds are stronger than typical during La Nina occurrences, driving more warm water toward Asia. Upwelling increases off the Americas’ west coast, sending cold, nutrient-rich water to the surface.

The jet stream is being pushed northward by the chilly waters of the Pacific. This causes drought in the southern United States and severe rainfall and flooding in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Winter temperatures in the South are warmer than average during a La Nina year, while temperatures in the North are cooler than normal. A stronger hurricane season may potentially result from La Nina.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *