El Nino

El Nino

What is El Nino?

"Sea surface temperature, rainfall, air pressure, atmospheric and ocean circulation all influence each other." ~ NOAA
El Nino is a severe weather condition that occurs in the Central and East-Central equatorial Pacific and in areas off the Pacific Coast of South America.
It is caused by the ocean and atmosphere interacting. This is when the surface waters in the equatorial Pacific are warmer than usual, and eastern winds blow weaker than usual.

This causes the global temperature to change, resulting in:

  • Severe storms
  • Mild weather
  • Droughts
  • Flooding

Droughts are a possibility in the southeastern U.S. during La Nina

The History of the Name


Cathedral ceiling painting of Jesus Christ in Sacre Coeur Basilica, Paris, France

The strange weather patterns of El Nino were first discovered by Peruvian fishermen in South America around the 1800's. They noticed the waters would start getting warmer around Christmas time and this would decrease their food supply by a significant amount. They decided to name this strange weather phenomenon El Nino (the boy) since it happened when the baby Jesus was born.

Affects ENSO has on the Economy

The affects of ENSO can be both positive and negative. Agriculture depends on the right climate and weather so when phenomenons like El Nino toss that out of balance, the economy has a chance to take a turn for the worst.

Impacts Beyond Weather

Forest fires

Due to the heat wave that goes over the south during La Nina

Food supply

Changing weather patterns, ocean temperature, and currents could drastically affect the fish population in an area

Prices of food

With the fisheries working harder to try and compensate for the lack of fish in their area, labor and value of product costs will go up

Job loss

Companies might not be making enough money due to lack of product or running expenses during a flood/drought. This could mean having to decrease the employee count


N/A, N. (2015, July). El Niño. Retrieved November 20, 2020, from https://www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/weather-atmosphere/el-nino

National Geographic Society, N. (2012, October 09). El Niño. Retrieved November 20, 2020, from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/el-nino/

N/A, N. (2020, November 09). El Niño. Retrieved November 20, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Niño


ENSO weather conditions affect fish population in certain areas

Facts of El Nino