Description | Characteristics | Animated Maps | Links | ENSO '02? | Earthguide


El Niño : Observation maps

El Niño and La Niña observations
See how sea surface temperatures changed during past El Niño and La Niña evernts. These maps show temperature anomalies rather than actual temperature. The sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly is the deviation of existing temperatures from typical temperatures for a particular area. Abnormally warm areas are show in warm colors and cold areas in cool colors.

Note the large temperature changes along the equator, west of Central and South America. The 1997-1998 and 1982-1983 events are the largest El Niños of the century.

1997 - 1998 El Niño, followed immeditaely by a La Niña

1987 - mid 1989

1982 - 1983 El Niño


© 2000, 2001 by the Regents of the University of California.
All rights reserved.