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Weird Weather, Southern Oscillation,
El Niño and La Niña

El Niño and La Niña are extreme phases of a naturally occurring climate cycle referred to as El Niño/Southern Oscillation or the ENSO Cycle. Changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean influence climate patterns around the globe. One of the best websites to visit on these topics is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation Homepage of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

La Niña:

We heard about El Niño first — but check out the results of the arrival of this cycle!

NOAA La Niña Page
La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, compared to El Niño, which is unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. At this website, La Niña gets her due! Check it out!!

What is La Niña?
This site provides general definitions and technical information.

El Niño:

This phenomenon of climate and weather has been blamed for everything from disturbances in rainfall patterns to messy closets and disobedient children. Find out the story behind the excuses! The following websites have many wonderful activities.

El Niño — He's Back and He's Bad!
A feature of NASA's Observatorium, this site has many images that might slow down your connection. It is well worth the wait, however!

El Niño — Hot Air Over Hot Water!
A special exhibit from the Franklin Institute of Science, this site has links to real-time data and other technical resources.

El Niño Theme Page
Accessing Distributed Information Related to El Niño: this site, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Array, is the scientific site for information about El Niño. It is here that one can link to a variety of realtime data, including in situ buoys. There are many opportunities for mathematical explorations, charting, and graphing.

El Niño — Making Sense of the Weather
This contribution from NASA's Earth Science Enterprise presents short, well-illustrated explanations for El Niño, the Southern Oscillation, global wind patterns, and condensation. There are three short weather-related science activities, using everyday materials. These activities encourage prediction, observation, and analysis. The explanations and instructions are clear and well-written.

El Niño Rules
The people at the Why Files bring us a great series of articles about climate and global warming. The series talks about past, present, and future El Niño patterns.