NASA On Air: NASA Compares El Niños: 1997 vs. 2016 (2/26/2016)

  • Released Friday, February 26, 2016

LEAD: A new NASA visualization shows the 2015 El Niño unfolding in the Pacific Ocean. The sea surface temperatures presented different patterns than seen in the 1997-1998 El Niño.

1. This visualization shows how the 1997 event started from colder-than-average sea surface temperatures – but the 2015 event started with warmer-than-average temperatures.

2. The water temperature variations also occur below the surface. And these variations were also different in 2015, compared to 1997. The red in this vizualization indicates warmer than normal temperatres and the blue is cooler.

TAG: In the past, very strong El Niño events typically transition to neutral conditions and then a La Niña event. This current El Niño has been different so it will be interesting to see what happens in the next forecast and the coming months.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Friday, February 26, 2016.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:48 PM EDT.