El Niño-La Niña Sea Surface Temperature, Height, and Wind Anomalies: Jan. 1997 through Dec. 1999
Released on December 21, 1999
This animation shows the onset of the very strong 1997 El Niño, followed by its collapse and replacement by La Niña. Anomalously warm waters slosh across the Pacific in late 1997 as El Niño begins and the equatorial trade winds diminish in strength. In May 1998, the El Niño event disperses and is rapidly replaced by its reciprocal phenomenon, La Niña, with anomalously cold water along the eastern equatorial Pacific and a reversal of the wind flow patterns.