El Nino

Presentation by: Zach Ruther

Basic Description

El Niño refers to the periodic warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean that brings sea surface temperatures above average. El Niño conditions, which can last for a year or two, develop concurrently with atmospheric changes leading to a variety of global effects, including drier than normal weather in Indonesia and the Philippines, wetter than normal weather for Peru and Ecuador, a warmer than normal winter for the United States and above normal precipitation for the southern tier of the United States.

More Information:

Causes: In an El Niño, the equatorial westerly winds diminish. As a result, the Humboldt Current weakens and this allows the waters along the coast of Chile and Peru to warm and creates warmer than usual conditions along the coast of South America.


More rain in areas such as California

Less tornado activity

Less hurricanes in Atlantic

Historical dates of El Niño:

Weak: 1958-59

Moderate: 1991-1992

Strong: 1965-1966

Very Strong: 1997-1998


Contrary to popular belief, global warming did not cause El Nino. It is a natural climate change that occurs as semi-regular intervals.

El Nino is Spanish for Christ Child, and it was named this because El Nino usually begins to appear around the Christmas season.

When El Nino occurs, there is a lot of disruption of sea life, especially in coastal regions. This often has negative effects for the livelihood of many fishermen.