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El Nino

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El Niño
(Spanish - literally "the {Christ} child") climactic phenomenon that occurs generally every 3 to 5 years at Christmas time in which the wind direction changes in the Pacific and ocean waters are unusually warm (affects weather patterns worldwide)

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El Niño
El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (commonly called ENSO) and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (between approximately the International Date Line and 120°W), including off the Pacific coast of South America. El Niño Southern Oscillation refers to the cycle of warm and cold temperatures, as measured by sea surface temperature, SST, of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño is accompanied by high air pressure in the western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern Pacific. The cool phase of ENSO is called "La Niña" with SST in the eastern Pacific below average and air pressures high in the eastern and low in western Pacific. The ENSO cycle, both El Niño and La Niña, causes global changes of both temperatures and rainfall. Mechanisms that cause the oscillation remain under study.

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WordNet 2.0 Dictionary

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El Nino

Noun
1. (oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time
(hypernym) ocean current
(hyponym) El Nino southern oscillation
(classification) oceanography
2. the Christ child
(hypernym) Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, the Nazarene, Jesus Christ, Christ, Savior, Saviour, Good Shepherd, Redeemer, Deliverer
(classification) Spanish


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El Niño
n. El Niňo

EPA Glossary of Climate Change Terms

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El Nino
A climatic phenomenon occurring irregularly, but generally every 3 to 5 years. El Ninos often first become evident during the Christmas season (El Nino means Christ child) in the surface oceans of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The phenomenon involves seasonal changes in the direction of the tropical winds over the Pacific and abnormally warm surface ocean temperatures. The changes in the tropics are most intense in the Pacific region, these changes can disrupt weather patterns throughout the tropics and can extend to higher latitudes, especially in Central and North America. The relationship between these events and global weather patterns are currently the subject of much research in order to enhance prediction of seasonal to interannual fluctuations in the climate.

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