El Niño

Name: _________________________________       Date: _____________

El Niño plays havoc with Earth's weather. Some areas get heavy rain and floods. Others have more forest fires and drought. What exactly is El Niño? How is it different from its "little sister" La Niña? You'll find out in this Planet Diary activity.

  1. Start at NASA's El Niño page. What is El Niño?
  2. What changes does it typically cause?
  3. Contrast ocean and atmospheric conditions in El Niño and non-El Niño years.
  4. Find out more about El Niño and La Niña. How do El Niño and La Niña differ?
  5. Take a look at the JPL's Historical El Niño and La Niña Watch. How do the map colors in the equatorial Pacific Ocean differ in El Niño and La Niña years?
  6. El Niño and La Niña can affect hurricane formation. Read these Planet Diary reports El Niño Quiets Atlantic Hurricanes and Busy Hurricane Season Ends. Explain how El Niño influence Atlantic hurricane activity.