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Operational El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Observing System

 

Facts about ENSO:

ENSO Effects on the US:

    El Niño:

  • Warmer winters across the northern US
  • Gulf states cooler and wetter
  • California can be wetter or drier
  • Pacific salmon and other fisheries disrupted
  • Fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic
  • La Niña:

  • La Niña has equally dramatic, often opposite effects on the US

ENSO is Predictable:

  • Computer models show skill in forecasting tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures one to two years in advance
  • ENSO forecasts improve the accuracy of seasonal and longer forecasts over the US
  • Potential for billions of dollars in benefits to the US economy in:
    • Agriculture
    • Energy generation
    • Water resources
    • Forestry
    • Fisheries
    • Transportation
    • Commerce
    • Public health

What is needed?


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Michael J. McPhaden, michael.j.mcphaden@noaa.gov, 20 March 1997


Department of Commerce / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory / Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Project
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